Saturday, May 21, 2011

Roleplaying tattoos? Yep, got mine

I have wanted tattoos several years, but actually never had any. I have several ideas, I want to do. I know what I want. Now, I got a great opportunity to get myself tattooed (and will be tattooed in the future), and got two pictures.

I didn't choose the pics I really want, but instead I chose other pics I like and chose them to be inked to my legs. I usually don't show my lets, except in summer time with shorts. Didn't want to put my main tattoo areas (hands) in risk, if the tattooer wasn't good enough.

So, smaller the first one, was just a test try. My favourite car is Ford, so I got this:
I was satisfied with it, so we continued to my other leg.

I have this idea, that my right side of body I will dedicate to WoD/horror theme. I have few pics I want on my hand, but had to decide, what would be a great test tattoo for tattooer's skills to show. Also, while I was going to take a tattoo, I thought I want it to be big one. Not a small... I do like Vampire, and Dark Ages is cool. I thought that clan heraldry could be awesome for leg tattoo. And for a certain reason, I've always liked Cappadocian heraldry.

So, that it is. Cappadocian tattoo.

It's not completed yet. It needs coloring, borders thickening etc. But I like it. I like it a alot.

Nerd RPG tattoo, but still bad ass. And far from usual leg tribal.

Friday, May 20, 2011

After vampire super-heroes

Our Vampire: the Masquerade campaign is reaching it's end. I have asked my player, what she would like to play next. We have agreed, that we play Vampire, then something else, then Vampire again. Vampire: the Masquerade is our favorite game no question. But even though it is awesome, Storyteller needs his breaks or he can find himself out of new ideas or repeating himself. So, that's why we play Vampire, other, Vampire. We get to play Vampire a lot, but still get to play other games so Vampire doesn't wear out.

Another reason for this is, that I have several games I haven't played or even read. I want to try several of them out. Not sure, are they the games I will return to play again and again, but interesting enough for me to want to try out.

Why Mutants & Masterminds?

Few weeks back, when I started to see the finish line of V:tM campaign, I asked my player, what would be a cool game to try out next. Preferably one of those we haven't played previously. She quickly picked Mutants & Masterminds from the shelf and told that this game would be next. I was quite surprised, because I know she is not that interested in super-heroes. But that would be totally different, and also she would like to try it out. So we decided, that after Vampire chronicle it will be Mutants & Masterminds

Character Creation

If you start to build your character with rulebook, there are so many options what you can do that I suppose if you just pick all those cool stuff, your character would be a mess. That's why I asked my player to first describe her character, her character's powers, background and uniform. It is easier that you first think of what kind of character you want to play, and then apply character creation rules and powers to your concept. That way you keep your focus on your character you will play, not on all the neat powers there are available.

Not sure has she already started to think about her character, but I will post her concept and character creation process when the time comes.

Super Adventure

I think, I will get inspiration to the adventure from character concept. So at the moment, I don't have any idea what kind of super adventure I will or want to run. I want clear start, stuff in between and clear end. Maybe one bad guy with The plan and minions. Maybe that bad guy is not revealed at the beginning but clues lead character after him. Epic final battle would be great. I also want it to be long enough for character to gain a level or two, but short enough so it doesn't derail too much.
This is something, I really, really need to write down. Usually I don't write whole adventures, just few ideas here and there. I like to GM and build the story as the story goes on. This will be different. I want to know what happens and when to keep whole adventure really intense.

Reading Mutants & Masterminds 2nd Edition

Currently I am reading the book. Fortunately I have played True20 (Blue Rose) and D&D3 so basics of D20 system are familiar so I don't have to go through all the learning process of a new game. There are tons of character feats and powers, what I can basically skip if I have an idea how they work. I need them in character creation, but can read them with my player while doing that. Then I need to know the powers for the bad guy which is basically the same as character creation learning process of skills, feats and powers.

What I wait the most from this book is all GM tricks and stuff. I have read super-hero comics a lot, but it's over ten years ago. I have seen new super-hero movies, but they aren't in my opinion cartoonish enough.

What Kind of Setting I Want To Run?

I don't know, if the core book contains any setting information yet. I hope there's something in GM section what will help me to build super-hero setting even though super-hero comics aren't my hobby so I lack of sources. I guess that there's this city included. Even though I usually don't use ready-made material in games but make my own, I guess Mutants & Masterminds will be an exception. So, thumbs up that there are enough GM help to start a campaign. Ready made adventures I won't use, even if there was some available in the core book.

How Will It Go?

No idea. It could be a blast as it is something different that we have ever played together. Actually, I haven't played a single super-hero RPG ever. So this will be totally new thing for me. I hope, it will be fun, there will be dangerous situations and cool action. Lots of action. I want there to be certain amount of humor, and I want it to be more light than grim. Of course, the bad guy should be bad, but I don't want my super-hero game be all Gotham City. I want it to be a high adventure with great special effects, some jokes, dangerous and mad powerful villain... Maybe I will even make weaker side-kick for character to be her friend. Or let my player decide how his side-kick is. So she has someone to interact even behind her mask.

Side Note

Uh, I am not sure do I have second edition or do I have second print of the first edition... Hmm...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Underwater karaoke [Skill/feat/advantage]

I saw a dream, where I kinda played this roleplaying game, kinda wrote it. Not sure, but sometimes dreams can be a bit blurry in detail. But this game was Dungeons & Dragons but with Storytelling system. And there was a skill called Underwater Karaoke (or I was writing it). Sounds strange? Not necessarily. Well, the name is a bit strange...

Underwater Karaoke

Underwater karaoke is character's skill or quality, where he is as good performing underwater as he is on solid ground. So there are no penalties to his action. Name "underwater karaoke" simply means, that character can perform underwater. Usually fighting, but can also include other dexterity and strength based actions. It doesn't help singing, talking or breathing underwater.


It can be handled:

- As a skill. In my dream with Storytelling system Underwater Karaoke cost like any other skill, but performing actions underwater doesn't use the usual attribute + skill combination, but Underwater Karaoke + skill. The point is, that Underwater Karaoke as a skill is cheaper to buy and advance than an attribute, and it also covers both Strength and Dexterity.
(It is overpowered skill (underwater) and really unbalanced. But it was a dream and I just write it down here. From this point ideas were not in my dream, but I present them as I write).
- As an advantage. It can be an advantage (in ST system, or basically in any system what uses advantages). Cost for oWoD games could be 2pt merit.
- As a feat. For D&D players Underwater Karaoke is a feat. It could be bought by more physical classes (like fighter, rogue, monk etc.). I don't see any other restrictions here.

Side Note

I somewhere have heard, that in fantasy games (or games in general) where swimming is a skill, you actually need to sacrifice your precious character creation and development point, it is rarely taken. In fantasy it is realistic. Swimming wasn't that popular. In modern games swimming is usually included in Stamina/acrobatics etc. and isn't necessarily a skill of it's own. But if swimming was it's own skill, what does cost as much to buy and develope than... for example spell crafting, swordsmanship, survival and others, how many characters you know who are really good swimmers?
Usually andventures take place in dungeons, cities, forests, generally on solid ground. They might go near the water, but usually with ships. If you are in the water, you have been:

  1. Thrown there
  2. Fumbled your roll there
  3. Escaped burning ship there
So, is Underwater Karaoke that unbalanced? It makes your character awesome in water considered to other characters, but how often it is used? 1/10 sessions? I don't remember when my player's character was in water performing something. And I remember games of Vampire: the Masquerade, Fading Suns (there was this water planet, but they only dipped their feet on the water. Oh, and character swam with native alien race for laughs), Dungeons & Dragons, Praedor... and many others.

But if the adventure's main theme is around the water, it is completely acceptable, that even one of the characters can perform better in the water than others. Because otherwise the whole campaign would be just -X to your character because you are in water. Like if campaign is set in water, it is norm like campaign set in solid ground. You create first level character, but because of your GM thought it would be cool to set the scenario in water enviroment your character is actually -25% (example) lousier than in a campaign, where is more solid ground.

So, concider this skill/advantage/feat, and give it a shot. And the name Underwater Karaoke is kickin' awesome!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

[Inspiration] Producing an entity with thought expectation

Some mage groups might have an ability to actually create something. Not summon, not possess, not capture. But to create out of the thin air. They must go several rituals, write the being they summon, believe in it and make it real.

This is really powerful magic, and rare to create entities out of nothing. Sometimes they appear as the group has imagined, sometimes disturbance in shared imagination might make these entities slightly different than ment to be, or even dangerously out of control.

Usually it needs a group to create an entity this way, but very powerful mages can also create one themselves. They don't necessarily have differences of mind in creation process what group brings, but when the entity born, it might be hard to control alone.

Creating Gods

Similarly cults or religions might create new gods. Of course, gods are powerful, so they need much energy and belief to be formed. This needs a great group of believers of cultists or religionists. Sometimes, gods are formed out of despair or need. Sometimes one man has this idea of what he wants to create, and needs followers with faith into his word to finish his idea into an actual entity.

Some do create via belief gods in need. For good things. But some, usually cult leaders with selfish needs do want to create gods for their own purposes. It might be obvious for cultists that the god will be evil (or is if cult leader has told so already even if there is nothing existing yet) or the cult or religion leader might masquerade the god to be good and only harvests the power of the belief trying to shape it as he pleases to create an evil god despite of his believers' belief.

Destroying Gods

What if no one believes in a god no more, what was created by group belief? The god dies. The god might be true, and he might have followers, but some powerful institute what doesn't like that god, might start persecution against the believers. As they hunt down the believers and kill them, for a moment the god might be more powerful than ever as the remaining and hunted followers might believe in him more. But as time passes, and people are killed and persecuted, the power of belief starts to fade. Because of the lack of believers left, or more damagingly because of those who rebound their faith in fear of death.

Sleeping Gods

If there are only few left, the god is sleeping. It is alive, as long as there are those who believe, but the god has lost his power. It is sleeping (hybernating). This is when usually cults are formed. The god is long forgotten, nearly unexistent, and secret cults are formed with carefully chosen members who are guaranteed to advance the awakening of their god.

Game Setting

For high fantasy setting, several lesser deities can easily be explained by this. It also can explain various evil cults. In modern games, I wouldn't necessarily go as further as creating gods, but maybe beings. In horror campaign these artifically with imagination created entities could very well be demons.
Also in Call of Cthulhu games sleeping gods and secret cults could be explained this way.

Read More

Here are a couple of articles, that were inspiration for this idea. The Philip Experiment.

"In the 1970's, a group of Canadian parapsychologists wanted to attempt an experiment to create aghost, proving their theory that the human mind can produce spirits through expectation, imagination and visualization.
The actual experiment took place in Toronto, Canada, in 1972, under the direction of the world-renown expert on poltergeists, Dr A. R. G. Owen.
The members of the experiment proposed an idea... by using extreme and prolonged concentration, they could create their ghost through a collective thought form: Non-physical entities which exist in either the mental or astral plane. In order to create this ghost and make it as 'real' as possible, it needed a life story; a background in which the ghost could 'relate' to."

Quote from first link to sum up The Philip Experiment.

[C:tL] This is how changelings are explained in media

You are kidnapped to be a servant for fae. But there is something put as a replacement of you, who continues your life as you serve as a slave...

But there must be some accounts of people missing? Take a look at this news article for an example:

Siti was captured after several failures, where she was found in strange places. When she was actually captured, her replacement was found 600 km away from his home.

In the world of darkness, there is always something behind the mysteries. Strange incidents can be explained if you know more. And in this case, if you know more, you know what really, really, happened.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Oh man, where's my post?

My latest post about orcs camps is lost! I do find it from RPG Bloggers site, but the link is dead. I might have heard somewhere, that some of Blogger/blogspot posts are missing, but they are restored soon...

I hope that's the case!

I wanted to make a post or two and was really inspired, but I guess I wont before I am certain, that this works.

Funny thing. One reason I write stuff here, is that I thought internet being good place to save writings. Too many bad experiences with broken harddrives, corrputed CD-backups etc. But yeah, maybe I start to save my texts from this blog to also .txt file.

My player is feeling sick now. I hope she endures some Vampire: the Masquerade playing, because I'd soon to be ready for that. Let's see. If she doesn't want to play, maybe I'll entertain myself with
The Battle For Wesnoth, free turn based strategy for Win, Linux, Mac/os etc.
Check it out here:

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Orc camp ahead, but what are they up to?

Aggressive traveling orcs. (From LotR movie).
How many times in fantasy settings group of heroes have encountered camp of orcs? How often group of heroes have encountered camp of orcs with random encounter table? How often you don't have any idea what the orcs are doing there, but the point is to A) avoid them or B) to kill them. Here's little table for your random orc camp. They might be also encounter on the move.

Random Orc Camp Or Travelling Group Table

First you have to know, how hostile these orcs are. Roll D4:

1. Try to flee even if they must leave their camp behind.
2. Are defensive, continue what they are doing and let PC's walk by if not bothered.
3. Really suspicious, maybe make point that you should not come any closer.
4. Aggressive, and attack in sight.

Now you know, how how the orcs generally behave for intruders of their nearby space. After that, you might want to know, what that camp of orcs is all about. Roll 1D8 to find out:

1. Mercenaries. They might have had a job before or they might be venturing to one. (1D4 = no job, no previous one, normal gear, no valuables, 2D = preparing for a job, better gear, no valuables, 3 = aftermath of a failed job, normal gear, little valuables, 4 aftermath of a succesful job, better gear, more valuables.)

2. Exiles. Exiles are often poor and in bad condition. They usually are really careful and defensive if they are refugees, but might be really aggressive if they've been exiled for being not suitable to even orc culture. Exiles usually have next to nothing valuables, and their equipment are in poor quality. (There are 2D6 exiles band together even from different tribes.)

3. Warlord. You should see orc warlord's camp from far before you are noticed yourself by them. Big tents,  lots of orcs in war equipment, lots of noises and decorations, emblems and war flags of different offensive and dead things. Ignore roll of hostility. Warlord and his army are always bloodthirsty, and will kill anyone who comes close enough or they notice. You flee, they practice catching you. You fight well, they keep you alive to be their real practice dummy. You want to know how many there are. (1D6 better generals, 2D20 warriors per general. 20% change per general to have a shaman or mage. 40% change per general to have a tamed beast [% rolls can be cumulative per general. If you roll 19 for shaman or mage, roll again, if you still get under 20%, roll untill you don't score below 20. That's how many shamans or mages there are per one general. Same goes with beasts]).

4. Bandits. Normal orc bandits you see, robbering people who pass them. Usually kill their victims and take their valuables. (There are character party +1D4+2 of them total.) They might have some valuables with them (1D4, 1 = nothing special, 2 = some coins, 3 = more coins and some items, 4 =more coins and more items). 10% change that there is wanted reward for the head of their leader (1D3, 1 = small revard, 2 = mediocre reward, 3 = higher reward).

5. Half-Orcs traveling. Normal, half-orcs traveling. It is not easy for them, as their own hate them for being "good", but "goods" hate them for being half orc blooded. So they must travel and find their place where they are accepted. Usually they aren't aggressive, but if they are, they have grown really suspicious against everyone thinking, that they are target. Make player characters roll appropriate stat for them to realize, that these orcs are good at heart. If they fail the roll, they can act like they usually would act, maybe bloodlusty killing for experience and loot, or based on how half orcs react (first 1D4 roll). If they plan to kill these half-orcs, make sure somehow, that they understand that they killed "good" people. Maybe there's a travelling journal or something. Nothing valuable, this is morality lesson.

6. Captured orc. Group of humans are escorting this huge orc in thick wooden cage on four wheels pulled by two ox. There is one guard captain (heavily armed) and four guards (normally armed, medium armor, spears, small sword).  Guard captain brags, how they did get the mighty Grok'arg, the orc war leader. Characters might know, that Grok'arg actually is freedom fighter, solo, who wants to kill this evil duke/king/prince/lord/wizard what might be known for player characters for his wickedness. Even though Grok'arg is orc, and his other motives and -well- orcishness might be suspicious, he could be a valuable ally especially if characters want themselves the blood of this bad guy Grok'arg hates. Will they free him? Or not.

7. Hunters. Orc hunters are known to hunt game but also for hunting people and other races. Are they on hunt now? (1D4, 1 = hunt is over and succesfull, 2 = hunt is over but unsuccesful, 3 = they have started their hunt and have hunch, 4 = they have started their hunt but are clueless). What they are hunting? (1D6, 1 = orc renegades to be killed, 2 = humans to be slaves, 3 = food and game, 4 = personnel of area's lord, 5 = elven, 6 = player characters).

8. Orc scholar. Orc scholars you don't see every day, but even some orc leaders do value knowledge or want to know areas better and obtain maps to plan better their attacks. Or maybe this scholar is after his personal deeds. (1D6, 1 = scholar is after arcane knowledge for himself, 2 = scholar is after arcane knowledge for his chief, 3 = scholar mapping out the area for his chief, 4 = scholar is after books and scrolls to learn more for himself, 5 = scholar is after books and scrolls to learn more for his chief, 6 = brains was not the attribute scholar's tribe valued, so he decided to go find his own fortune with knowledge). But does scholar travel alone? (1D4, 1 = alone, 2 = with apprentice/assistant, 3 = with apprentice/assistant and a couple of guards, 4 = with his trained monster).
D&D orcs by: Ralph Horsley.
This table will work with any fantasy game with orcs.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Zooming back to May's A-Z blogging challenge (Final content, the letter "Z")

It's done. A bit late, but I made it! I am both proud and disappointed of myself. Proud, because I handled all the alphabets. Disappointed, because I couldn't keep up with the schedule.

Anyways, let's zoom to this challenge from my point of view.

Inspiration To Blog Content

When you have this certain letter you are going to base your blog text of, it is an inspiration. You have to forge your idea to fit that letter. I think, there were some topics I wouldn't have blogged about without the challenge. The challenge gave me an empty canvas and a tool to paint a picture. The rest was up to me.

New Visitors

My guess is, that because of this challenge in my blog visited people, who wouldn't have visited otherwise. And the positive thing is, that big amount of those persons were those, who don't play roleplaying games. So I feel that it was a privilege for my blog to show roleplaying hobby to those people. Maybe my blog is not the best available to peek at this hobby, but it is something.
For all you people, who thanks to A-Z challenge, ventured to my blog, I salute you! Thank you for visiting, thank you for your comments. Maybe inside someone's heart a little seed is growing towards roleplaying games. Let's hope.

Interesting Blogs

Those who visited my blog and commented, I traced back to their blogs. Maybe I did not comment back, but I found out interesting blogs. Strange thing is, that most of the commenting visitors here had blog about writing. So I guess roleplaying and writing are close to each other. Well, they are. Think about when players write their character background and game masters write their settings and adventures.
Part of roleplaying hobby is pretty close to creative writing. Oh, and we got books too!


Yey! I got two awards during this. Thank you Elizabeth Mueller! I did not even know that there were these kind of awards around blogs. But now I know, and I am really pleased I got that much some kind of interest to earn them.
Another is Creative Blog Award, the second I Survived The 2011 A-Z Blogging Challenge Award. Yes, I survived it, made it to the end.
I will proudly carry those awards on my blog.


Even though I basically write this blog for myself (obviously only for myself, why otherwise this would be public and I've joined RPG Bloggers duh), it's nice to have comments from other gamers and visitors. I have had great ideas from others, help understanding some concepts and visited commenters' blogs to find awesome stuff!


Now, back to normal blogging. It's a bit sad the challenge has ended. I wish you everyone reading my blog great gaming and writing hours in the future.

Thank you!

PS: I hate Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, what ever speaches.They are so lame.

Yawn, curse this tiredness (Y for A-Z)

I remember the times, not so long ago, only six months or so, when I used to play roleplaying games at least five days a week. Weekends Friday and Saturday I played my main campaign, what currently was running. During week days we did play also the main campaign, or secondary specific "weekday" campaign.

Our last secondary weekday game was Dungeons & Dragons we played few days a week before Friday and Saturday, when we played our main campaign.

But then came tiredness. After work and doing all stuff needs to be done during weekday evenings I was too tired to play rpg's. Instead I grabbed Wii mote or PS2 controller, read a book or watched movies. Easier, no need to think or interact that much.
Usually during working days I am eager to get home and start playing. I wait for that moment to sit down and go into fantastic worlds of roleplaying games. But am too damn tired to do that.

I hope, that when summer comes and work gets easier (damn snow and ice and freezing of equipment can make things annoying) I have stamina to play during week. After all, I'd rather play a hour or few before going to bed some roleplaying game than just sit down basically not doing anything that interesting.

Actually last week we thought we wanted to start our weekday gaming, and created a character for Praedor. Also played one session and it was fun activity in the evening after hard working day. Still, after that one session we didn't play again. It's not that we wouldn't want to, but it's because yawning takes too much energy in the evening.

Fingers crossed, that spring that has started and summer after it makes the magic of roleplaying happen also during weekdays. But in the autumn, when it's all dark, cold and wet nothing quits the day better than hot coffee, warm sandwitches and orc blood running.

Xenophobia in science fiction (X for A-Z)

Even though humanity has reached the stars and met other races more primitive or advanced, more agressive or peaceful, still racism is written in human history. Maybe racism against each other amongst us people has seized, but racism has found its new form: Xenophobia.

In science fiction xenophobia means hatred or fear of foreigners or strangers or of their politics or culture from other races outside of humanity. Also other alien races can be xenophobic towards humans or other alien races.

If there are space travels, different worlds and cultures and that evil spawning race threatening all known civilization - human or non-human - why there is xenophobia?

For the same reason it has always existed. Fear of different, uneducated mind, fear of higher power or fear that lower civilization can somehow ruin your own. And in some spacestations or busy spaceports locals might feel that all other beings, races and aliens are some kind of threat for their living and their culture. Maybe they are afraid of change and in that fear it doesn't matter if the change would be good or bad.

To understand xenophobia in science fiction you just need to look at written history. It is the same. Reasons are same. Only in future the target might have bigger space ships with weird technology or their skin might be blue.

Why Warcraft could be good setting for me (W for A-Z)

At the moment my high fantasy rpg choice is D&D. I got Forgotten Realms campaign setting as it was in good price. Although I am not that interested in it for some reason. Maybe as I am not that into fantasy gaming the size of FR campaign setting book is intimidating.

Months back at one rpg forum there were few Warcraft sourcebooks for D&D3 for sale. I considered for some time if I'd buy them, but decided not to because of current financial status. I could have afforded them easily, but thought do I really need them.

I decided, that I don't need them at that moment. As playing D&D in homebrew setting was easy enough. Still, I think that for me Warcraft supplement for D&D could be the official setting I'd enjoy Dungeon Mastering.

Why WoW Over Everything Else?

Well, not sure if over everything else in setting selection, but it would rank high. Reason is, that Warcraft universe is familiar enough thanks to Warcraft RTS games. Also, I have played World of Warcraft MMORPG and liked it. That's enough familiar to adapt the feel of Warcraft universe to rpg campaigns. And I like that Warcraft is not whacky and totally different fantasy setting, even though it has its own flavor in it.

I have many rpg books to read and Forgotten Realms campaign setting as not being interesting enough and being large feels a bit too much time consuming just for adapting a fantasy setting to run. I think that Warcraft would be more easy to learn and read as I find it interesting overall.

Why Not Buy Then?

I have several other books I want, and I'd rather buy those than expand my D&D collection what I don't use regularly. But if I had good enough great deal, yeah, why not. But still, there are maybe even more interesting settings for D&D like Dark Sun and Planescape.

At (link to the right) it's not that bad price at the moment.

Link to Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game wiki:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Villains from video games to rpg villains (A-Z letter V)

Picture from ign article
I found this list of top 100 videogame villains from
I point out some of them I find interesting and what I could use. Descriptions from picked villains and their usages are short, as they are described in article already. These are just small ideas I have from them in what game you could use them. There might be better games I suggest here, or you could possibly modify these villains to any genre making them a bit different (for example sniper Wolf from MGS could work in fantasy setting as well etc.)

So, here are few I find worth mentioning. It doesn't mean, that others are not good to use. Look at the list, take idea seeds for your rpg campaign villain. And if you get ideas how to use these villains listed in a campaign or game setting, feel free to post in in comments. I appreciate your ideas and will read them with great interest! Gary Oak from Pokémon series. Annoying person, who is always ahead of main character. In roleplaying game he could be in a campaign this person who is not your enemy, but you start to hate. In the other hand, it could ruin the fun for the players if there is this NPC who always is a bit better, and always a step ahead. So be careful when making this kind of antagonist. Shang Tsung from Mortal Kombat. In final battle the main villain can change himself to represent player character's skills. With one on one battle this can be really challenging and interesting because character has to basically fight himself. If there is adventurer party, it is not that big of a challenge as there are many against one character replica. Still, it could be powerful but emulate in top of that one character's skills in addition for his own powers. Adrian Ripburger from Full Throttle. Big company chief works with almost any rpg. Could be good in Cyberpunk where he controls street gang. Sniper Wolf from Metal Gear Solid. The whole scene with Sniper Wolf from MGS game could be good drama and action for roleplaying game. What will be character's decision in that situation? Dagoth Ur from Morrowind. Players have to save the world from evil god who causes all bad things all around? And is basically immortal? Dagoth Ur will be great meta-plot and epic and hard final antagonist. Officer Tenpenny from GTA: San Andreas. Bad cop in modern setting. He has law behind him and killing an officer is never a good thing. But he is bad cop and characters get into trouble with him and soon after characters aren't that bad anymore when there's corrupted law in the other half. Sub-Zero from Mortal Kombat. Exalted could be good for Sub-Zero, or grim and dirty superheroes game. Death Adder from Golden Axe. Conan rpg could use this kind of bad guy, or some other low magic fantasy setting. Bydo from R-Type. The whole background of the bydo is really cool, and can be put in science fiction game. Jafar/Vizier from Prince of Persia. Evil ruler what gives characters a plot. To save a princess or otherwise she's dead. Shadow Link from Zelda. Character's evil shadow twin? There'd dobbelgangers in fantasy games, but if it was more personal. In Kult if you mess up your mind bad enough, your soul will manifest it's physical shadow half. Lavos from Chrono Trigger. I see some Mythos like plot here. Ancient god monster who will bring apocalypse. That is time for player characters to act. Diablo from Diablo. What would be better final villain monster in D&D dungeon to hell than devil demon himself? Alma from F.E.A.R. Make your shooting action game into horror with Alma. While having fun throwing dice and shooting enemy troops, you have horror aspect and also mystery in background to solve. Test Code/X from Burger Games for great rules to run F.E.A.R. action. Dark Falz from Phantasy Star. Can be great plot for Fading Suns. Is Dark Falz some unknown creature, or part of symbiots? What ever it is, it might be behind the fading suns phenomenom. Cyberdemon from Doom. Well, Doom itself is great setting for futuristic dungeon crawl, and cyberdemon would be great villain to characters to deal with... firepower. Calypso from Twisted Metal. For post apocalyptic rpg (I suggest Taiga here) Calypso would be great bad gang leader with background. And with post apocalyptic I mean Mad Max. Goro from Mortal Kombat. I haven't played Exalted, but I so see Goro being there. Dr. Nefarious from Ratchet And Clank. Humorous cartoon styled superhero game here's your villain. Predator from Aliens Vs. Predator. Predator are awesome, and human troopers easy hunt. There's great fan made supplements for Savage Worlds with predator as a monster. Kill it before you are killed. Predator works in modern today settings to science fiction, and why not in even fantasy. Prophet of Truth from Halo. Yet again science fiction antagonist to deal with. Nemesis from Resident Evil. Want a big bad zombie for your All Flesh Must Be Eaten? Nemesis is one choice to wet your player character's pants. Origami Killer from Heavy Rain. Hunters have something to hunt as this is a great Slasher (Hunter: the Vigil + Slasher sourcebook). Ares from God of War. For your Greek OSR rpg (cannot remember the name) great villain with a plot. Tank from L4D. Also great surprise for AFMBE characters to encounter. It first eats your bullets, then eats you. SHODAN from System Shock. Trapped in space ship where everything goes wrong? Great campaign for science fiction horror trapped in a spaceship and trying to both survive and figure out what is going on. Grue from Zork. Make your Call of Cthulhu characters be a bit more afraid of dark. Flood from Halo. Make your AFMBE a science fiction setting, or make Fading Suns symbiats more twisted. Arthas from Warcraft. This bad guy's whole background story will make an awesome Dungeons & Dragons campaign altogether. Harbinger from Mass Effect. What could be more dangerous than a villain you don't confront, but you confront his minions what this villain gives power to? Lich King from World of Warcraft. If your campaign with Arthas was not enough, give more experienced characters sequel to your campaign with Lich King. John Henry Eden from Fallout. Was there some hope in your post apocalyptic game? Ruin it introducing new American president. Kain from Legacy of Kain. For Vampire: Dark Ages Kain could be really powerful ancient vampire, who was betrayed and now seeks revenge. He might be antagonist, or even powerful ally or leader for characters. Darth Malak from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Obviously for Star Wars games the main thread in whole campaign. With little modification could also be evil wizard in fantasy settings. Or even in Vampire, if you change fighting ships to ghouls and shovel heads. Ultros from Final Fantasy. What if characters encountered a talking carnivorous purple octopus what wanted to kill them in Dungeons & Dragons. In different campaigns. Several times. Go find out. Dr. Breen from Half-Life. In future if characters are on guerilla's side, Dr. Breen could be the enemy they fight against. Albert Wesker from Resident Evil. What would a zombie game be without a megalomaniac psychopath, who tries to get advace from the situation? Make a bad guy in your AFMBE campaign... zombies are not your only trouble after it. Psycho Mantis from Metal Gear Solid. Somehow I see Nosferatu possibility here for Vampire.

Almost any villain from that list could be a good antagonist for a campaign with next to no modification, some could be modified or obvious ones could be put in totally different genre to create something new.

Using specific item is a bonus (A-Z letter U)

Even though I am not that interested in new World of Darkness rules, there is one thing I find interesting and working solution. Items give bonus to dicepool. This is something, I would rip easily to oWoD game.

You got an item you can use in your task roll? Good. Item description shows do you get a bonus to your dice pool from this item. For example binoculars might give bonus to dice pool when observing something from a distance. Simple and in all of it's simplicity genious.

Also, you easily make difference in combat.
Laser sight, get +1 but if trying to shoot someone and trying to be unnoticed, it's easier to be notice.
Weapon stand gives bonus dicepool when aiming.
Silencer gives negative dicepool for surrounding guards to hear the gunfire.

Also there might be a difference with equipment quality. Add price to item, get bonus to dicepool when using it. Cheap Wallmart tools are not as efficient as more expensive Black&Decker tools.

In general I like to give or decrease dice from dicepool in V:tM than adjusting difficulty number. It's easier to determine general difficulty, and then make small tweaks with dicepool modifications. Easily it otherwise goes into:
It's raining so the roof is slippery: difficulty 7
But player character's combat boots got good grip: difficulty back to 6.

Just keep the enviromental difficulty at 7 and give one extra die for combat boots. Much easier than tweaking difficulty number back and forth thinking about every aspect what can affect it.

This simple and quick rule works with every old World of Darkness game (I know of).

Touch attack in D&D (A-Z letter T)

How can a simple thing be so hard to figure out? When we started to play D&D3 the first time, my player wante to create a sorcerer character. I knew it would be more challenging with spells and everything, but if player wants to be a magic-user, then let her be.

First combat when she started to use her spells I did have no clue how they worked. I tried to read the rules all over again, but didn't find somehow what to roll to attack with a spell.

Most puzzling was the touch attack. What do you roll? There is no "to touch attack" value in character sheet. What do you roll to "touch"? Is it that hard to touch your opponent etc. Then when I was puzzled enough and totally out of any clues how it works, I had to turn into internet forums to get help. Luckily I got answer relatively quick and game could go on.

If I remember correctly, touch attack is melee attack but it ignores AC. I am not totally sure about this and I might remember wrong, but the answer was really logical. Only question remains, how couldn't I find the answer in rulebook? Were I just too blind to see it, or was it too obvious rule? Or didn't I read D&D manuals like they should have been read?

But from now on, when sorcerer character does a touch attack, I know how to handle it. Now I am wondering when we next time play D&D what will be new rules challenge for me to comprehend.

Supers games (A-Z letter S)

Superhero roleplaying games? There are several but I've never played one. I was into superhero comic books when I was a kid (who wasn't) but even though I also played roleplaying games for some reason it never got into my mind that I could roleplay a superhero. Today I am not that interested in supers anymore, but still I bought myself a copy of Mutants & Masterminds. It was cheap and my first supers came to add more genres into my collection.

I have read Mutants & Masterminds and even though it uses D20 system I think it's pretty good for it. Quick and easily adjustable to higher inhuman power levels. M&M is more like a superhero toolbox. With really versatile character creation you can create almost any kind of superhero you wish for.

Now as our Vampire: the Masquerade campaign is close to ending, I asked my player what she would like to play next (we keep the rule of thumb that every other campaign is Vampire, every other something else for variation) and she browsed my rpg collection and suggested Mutants & Masterminds to be the next game we play. I was positively surprised. She's never been into superheroes and I thought that M&M would be the last game she'd suggest as there are games what she'd obviously find more interesting.

Maybe also she wants to try out something totally new what both of us have never played before. Let's see how it goes. First step is to create a character and I suggested her to first write and sketch her character and after it we start together to build it with character creation rules to fit her description.
It can be a blast, or total catastrophe. My guess is that for it being a huge success it needs to be more a beer and pretzel game than totally serious game. Let time see, how my player steps into boots of a superhero.

I already have made a test character. Here:

Randomly (A-Z letter R)

Rolling randomly. I don't know who said this, but it's a good rule of thumb:

"If your answer is not "yes", roll a die". (Or something like that).

I do quite often roll randomly without game rules. I simply roll a die, higher the result, better outcome for character's point of view. These are the situations where character's characteristics have nothing to do with the actual outcome of roll.

For example, if character is trying to charm someone, roll is based on her skills versus difficulty based on the other being charmed. That situation can be played according to game rules.

But when there is something I don't want to just decide, I let a die make a decision for me. Player might ask, are there guards at that corridor watching the air vent she's hiding in. I don't have to roll do guards spot character, as they aren't necessarily searching her at the moment. I let the die decide. Rolling D6 I get result 5 or 6 no, no one is watching at the air vent at the moment. Rolls 1-2 yes, most definately.

Also you can determine "shit hits the fan" effect with random die roll.
Text from Code/X (download free here:

Sometimes it is impossible to decide if and how the
characters could affect the situation and it all boils
down to luck. In that case, player or Gamemaster rolls
a single die, the lower the result, the worse the situation. Rolling 1 means something exceptionally bad and
rolling 6 some kind of an unexpected benefit.
For example, the character fires off a long burst in a laboratory, instantly reducing  test tubes, pipes, contains, jars and whatnot into fragments, trash and shreds. Is there a fire? Is there a dangerous chemical reaction? Will he get splashed by the zombie enzyme?
The gamemaster rolls 1D and result is 2. Not good. Multicoloured puddles on the floor begin to boil and suddenly the air above them bursts
into green-blue flames. Characters would do wisely to get out as soon
as possible. On a roll of 1 there could have been an explosion, or the
shooting character would have been sprayed with acid.
On a roll of six, he would have been sprayed with a mysterious chemical that heals his injuries, or a whole bunch of enemies would have
gone up in flames.

Quit whining about editions (A-Z letter Q)

Edition wars are boring. There's been too many of them about D&D. But I have to admit, that I have given my own contribution to edition wars before. Old World of Darkness against New World of Darkness.

I did not like that oWoD was put into ice and nWoD basically replaced it. I know that there are hundreds of oWoD books still available second hand or in PDF and I know that oWoD did do too much so it was better to cancel the mess before it got more messier, but still I found oWoD way much better and interesting than the new one. I did not like people who said nWoD was better than oWoD.

I got several nWoD core books and thought maybe even I should jump in this new edition of World of Darkness, but didn't like it. When I got my copy of Vampire: the Requiem I found it not fascinating. Haven't read it to this day and won't read it. Instead I started to collect Vampire: the Masquerade source books when ever I found them in good price.

I tried out Werewolf: the Forsaken as it was my first Werewolf book I bought. I have to admit, I liked to Storytell it but after I bought Werewolf: the Apocalypse I immediately forgot the very existence of V:tF. W:tA just has different kind of magic.

I also bought Mage: the Awakening but found it ugly and boring. Never read it. I found Mage: the Ascension and immediately sold Awakening. Now reading Ascension and loving it (even though all Umbra thing is annoying, but still).

Same thing with Hunter. First hunter I got my hands of was Vigil, but never was interested enough to open it to read. Sold it when got Reckoning. Haven't read it yet though, but it is in my mind way more interesting.

Only interesting books I own from nWoD line and what I wont sell are Changeling: the Lost and Slasher. Slasher is great book because I like horror movies and Changeling is otherwise really cool urban horror fantasy. Those I do like.

Still, I think I was stupid bashing around how awesome oWoD is and how much nWoD sucks. I like oWoD, and that's what I've used to play. I did not find same kind of magic in nWoD, but it is not an excuse to bash about it. New World of Darkness I think is equally good game. It is good if people buy it and enjoy playing it. It is better that people play roleplaying games, it doesn't matter what game it is, or what edition of a game it is.

So, let's be tolerate to people's tastes. It should be more valuable that people actually play roleplaying games and enjoy this hobby than do they play OD&D or D&D4. It doesn't matter. If you enjoy your game edition and other game group enjoys his game edition, it is a success for roleplaying hobby. People enjoy playing what ever they like to play and that is only thing that should matter to those individuals, that they have fun!

Praedor, one of my favorite fantasy games (A-Z letter P)

Praedor from Burger Games is one of my favorite fantasy games. Instead of reviewing it (for now) I just give a list why I do like it so much.

  1. Artwork is really neat made by Finnish comic book artist Petri Hiltunen. Also game setting is based on Petri Hiltunen's comic books.
  2. Character creation is mix of old school dice rolling and more customizable point buy system. You roll attributes, but divide points for skills.
  3. Damage system is brilliant. Even though characters have lots of hit points, they could die from a single good blow. There is "deep wound" value, and every point damage exceeds it you refer the amount to a table to see the additional effect of damage. Smaller damage decreases hit points in slower pace, but bigger blow can in worse cases even cut your character's hand off.
  4. Task system is simple. Character's attributes and skills are in range 3 to 18 and you roll D6's based on the difficulty usually from 2D to 4D trying to get lower than the value you roll against.
  5. Successes come in 3 steps. Normal success, 2 steps success with 5 or below and 3 step success on 10 or below. It determines the effect for example parrying a blow (2 step to hit wins 1 step to parry for example).
  6. Setting is awesome. Takes too much space from the list to describe it, but world is small round spot and after it's borders is endless destruct ancient city with wild magic, mutated monsters and demons. Also all kinds of adventures can be ran in known "safe" world you can ever imagine.
  7. Praedors (treasure hunting mercenary characters) are kick-ass.
  8. You only need six sided dice to play this game.
  9. Easy to learn, rules are quite light even though realistic.

Burger Games website:

Old school gaming, what does it mean to me? (A-Z letter O)

Old school gaming, this is what is widely talked about all around gaming communities. But what is old school for me? This post is not about what old school is, it is how I find it to be...

  1. Older game, published before 90's.
  2. Still, you could play newer games old school style.
  3. Hit points what determine how many blows your character can take instead of how seriously character can be wounded.
  4. Challenges for characters what usually are combat encounters.
  5. Challenges what Game Master creates for players.
  6. Simple plot or adventure where you know usually exactly what you are supposed to do. Different thing is how you get there.
  7. Items play important part here. You write them down carefully, use them, collect them to trade for money and better equipment.
  8. Equipment is important. Equipment can turn your character a few knobs better.
  9. Advancement of characters is more or less straightforward.
  10. Player's are in classes and every class has quite clear function in the party.
  11. You usually only talk to important NPC's. You don't have time to chit-chat with people who aren't important for what you are doing.
  12. Taverns are down time fun. Your characters (and players) turn their adventuring brains off and get drunk and fool around until next quest.
  13. Adventure modules are appreciated and used.
  14. One player's task is to draw the map what DM describes to them.
  15. There usually is a main villain.
  16. Fantasy preferred (but could be other genres too).
  17. You have 10 rack meters of gaming material.
  18. Minis are used not only to represent your character, but also to track combats.
  19. System uses different kinds of dice.
  20. In game accomplishments are also cheered out-of-character with loud noise.
  21. You can win the adventure module (rescue NPC, get exp. Kill main villain of the module, get exp).
  22. Your character can die, roll new to replace dead one.
  23. OSR players might have had break in gaming for several years because of starting adulthood, but when kids are older they want to start gaming again and they go back to games they played when they were in highschool.
This is not necessarily the truth about OSR, but it's how I see it. And I find it really positive, as OSR gamers are really active in rpg community.


I accidentally A-Z challenge twice, is it bad? So this is individual post :D

Monsters in fantasy games are every day encounters what trouble villages, block dungeon paths and give challenge and experience points for players. In my opinion monsters are a bit too common in fantasy games to be really terrifying anymore. Usually monster becomes terrifying in fantasy games if:

- It's really huge, final boss type.
- It's something player's haven't met before and in meta-game players don't know how much damage it does, how hard it is to hit, or what abilities it has.

Other monsters are just there to kill. One eyed octopus with visible brain? Kill it. Orc raiders with human skulls hanging on their armor decoration? Kill them. Woman with snake lower body? Kill it.

But how monsters could be more horrible?

Low Fantasy Setting

Fantasy games, what are more fantasy medieval and human are the main race, monsters could be more terrifying. If in game characters don't posses all these special abilities, but are more "normal" but more skilled people who encounter mostly "normal" challenges and antagonists, monsters might be more terrifying. If seven game sessions have been fighting against hungry wolf pack at wilderness, defending against raiding tribesmen, hunting down rogues down the city streets... a strange mutant in cave could be more terrifying. If game master is not shuffling his monster manual every few minutes during the campaign, but once reaches on it, it could mean some serious business.
Other method is, don't shuffle your monster book at all. Just describe something horrible. Players don't know if it is something you already have prepared for in advance taking from monster book, or is it something unique you have created for this encounter. Monsters you create are more terrifying than monsters you can find from some book.

One example is Praedor. Praedor is low-magic fantasy setting, where every single monster is unique. Every monster player characters encounter are created individually. Even smaller ones can be dangerous, but if you meet a pack of human sized monsters what are intelligent enough to use weapons, or meet a monster size of house... it is scary. Also, monsters don't roam the countryside. They live behind the borders of known world in the infinite corrupted labyrinth of ancient now forgotten city where wild and strange phenomenoms of wild magic, ancient temples with residential demons and corrupted and twisted monsters live. Sometimes one or two of these could wander by accident to known world...

Another good example of terrifying monsters could be LotFP. As far as I know, there is no monster list but Raggi encourages game masters to create their own monsters. Cannot tell you more about LotFP, because haven't read it but it sounds really good OSR game.

Mythos Monsters

What is great about Call of Cthulhu is that there are monsters. Smaller ones you might fight against, and huge enough to make you almost instantly insane. You might pack yourself with shotguns and dynamites, but they are no help if you fall into madness before you have your own turn. Most of the bigger Cthulhu monsters are the ones you cannot defeat at all. They are ancient, immortal, but still they might be the plot of the game.

Monsters Of World Of Darkness

In several WoD game lines you actually play a monster yourself. Werewolf or vampire for example. But still, even though humanity considers you a monster, you have your own monsters. Vampires are vulnerable to werewolven, werewolven fight against corruption of spirit world. Even your own kind can be monster for you.
Also, if you play mortal in WoD, you might find out that world and reality are not what you are used to. Humans are not top of the food chain. There are more powerful beings, what can be evil in you view. If you play a mortal, you don't care what clan or bloodline this one vampire antagonist is. It's a freaking vampire!
Also for human monsters (or what human is left in them) I suggest you to look at Hunter: the Vigil sourcebook Slasher. These are the monster serial killers you see in the movies from Jason, Freddy, Norman and Hannibal. And as WoD games are personal horrors, what if you are the monster yourself for yourself (V:tM humanity).

Reality Is A Lie

What if this world was just an illusion and behind the curtains of what we see is the real world? Ruins of times of gods and angels what is now corrupted and really messed up. What if the curtain of reality rips off and you get to see the real truth? Kult has one of the best settings ever. The reality behind this illusion is truly horrible where you might get lost. And Kult monster gallery? It is twisted and horrifying.

Zombies, All Time Favourite

Who doesn't like zombies? Lots of people must like, as zombies are present in various games. Fantasy games have zombies, horror games have zombies, even science fiction game Fading Suns has its version of zombies. And there's a game about zombie scenarios (All Flesh Must Be Eaten). Zombies are one of basic monsters. They are dead people who walk again with their rotten corpses wanting for flesh. They might be cursed, magically raised, toxic catastrophe aftermath, anything. But are zombies terrifying? It depends. If zombies are just another monster gets on the way of dungeon crawling group, they might not be that scary. But read CoC example play with a zombie, make whole city full of zombies in AFMBE, put zombies where they don't setting wise belong. Make them tough and hard to kill. Describe them how they sniff the air when player characters are hiding. Make them block important route with a mass of rotting flesh. Make huge horrific mutant zombies size of a building constructed from several dead bodies. Make them faster than running men.

N for Noob in D&D and could I survive in REAL D&D group? (A-Z)

Still going with A-Z challenge. May is over, but I entertain myself to the end of alphabets. Now it is turn for letter N, what stands for noob in D&D.

I never actually played any of D&D editions. When I was a kid, one of my friends had D&D Red Box Finnish version with a dungeon battle map, cardboard figures etc. We did play it once or twice, but never actually found it enough fun to play more. Maybe because we already had Warhammer, MERP, Rune Quest and other fantasy roleplaying games we were used to play already.

One of my friends even got himself second hand AD&D 2nd Edition Dungeon Master's Manual and Player's Handbook with Psionics Handbook, but I don't really remember us playing AD&D even once. As AD&D2 was left unplayed, I got it from my friend for free.

Later I got this Lankhmar boxed set really cheap from my local gaming store. Liked the map and the fact that whole boxed set was focused on this one particular city. And the map was gorgeus. Big, four color map with details of every building and street. I wanted to give it a try and we started a game with AD&D2 rules which Lankhmar boxed set was meant to use with. After first fight we ditched AD&D2 rules and started to use Praedor (Burger Games Praedor site) instead.

I got myself Dungeons & Dragons 3 core books, because I got them cheap. Otherwise I wouldn't have bought them, but the price was only 10€ total for three of them and it was a nice addition for my collection. Later I got myself Forgotten Realms book for D&D3, also cheap. I did not play it until my player-girlfriend agreed to try D&D3 out just to see what's the fuzz about the game.

We had earlier played Blue Rose, what uses True20 system. Simplified version of D&D3. I think it helped us to understand D&D system before we grabbed the real D&D system. Blue Rose setting I dislike and probably will never play it again. D&D was fun to play, but we used kind of ripped version of it. All attack of opportunities, flat footed, minis etc. we did not use at all. But it was fun and different what we were used to play.

So, Why Would I Be Noob In Real D&D Group?

That was introduction to my relationship of D&D. And the main reason why I would be a noob and weakest link of the more experienced party is that I think I am not that good in optimizing my character for the needs of party. I know how to do a character, I know how most basic rules work, but I don't know how to abuse character creation and advancement system to make an efficient character.

I'd probably create a character what I find interesting and what I think is fun to play. I might buy feats and skills I find suitable for character in cost of efficiency. If the game was challenge oriented, I guess my character would suck. This is if the group is power gamers, who optimize their characters to meet all the tough  challenges DM creates for them.

If game was more story oriented, well, it would be obviously easier to play when all these nifty rules and combat grids weren't involved. But if game was for example a tough dungeon crawl, my character would be first to die or first to cause trouble for rest of the player party for bad character build or bad combat decisions.

It would be fun though to try out more tactical rpg with minis and tactical combat. It's not my style of play as I consider story and inner character development more important than combat achievements.