YESSQuest is Here!

On Saturday I’ll be taking part in YESSQuest, a 24-hour gaming marathon in support of the Youth Emergency Shelter Society of Edmonton. Me and my team, Meeples 4 Peoples, will be playing a wide variety of board games and soliciting funds via social media as we progress. We’ll be camped out at the Edmonton Expo Centre, surrounded by our fellow gamers, and waist-deep in various gaming snacks to get us through the day. And night. And then day again.

I set an initial goal of $200 for my fundraising, and thanks to the generosity of friends, fellow nerds, and co-workers, blew past that fairly convincingly. Now my goal is $300 and I am a scant $75 short of that new goal. If you would like to help get me there (or push me past it so I have to set a new goal) please consider donating on my fundraising page. Any amount helps me hit my target, and helps out a great local charity. Alternatively, you can swing by the Expo Centre starting at noon tomorrow and make a donation in person; just ask to be directed to the Meeples 4 Peoples tables and I’ll be happy to take your moneys.

Thank-you to everyone who has donated so far, and will donate over the weekend. Your support for this great cause is appreciated.

RPGaDAY Day Three

How do you find out about new RPGs?

Like most nerds in the current age, I spend a possibly unhealthy amount of time on the internet. I want to spend the maximum amount of time looking at cool stuff, so I subscribe to a number of game company newsletters so the new releases come to me without me having to search. I also subscribe to newsletters from DriveThruRPG and Noble Knight Games. The first, because they often feature material from smaller games I might otherwise miss, and the latter to stay on top of items I might want in my collection.

Kickstarter has also become invaluable for finding new RPGs, before they’re even at the publishing stage. Kickstarter is also a great place to fund reprints of some classic games. Top Secret just finished a successful relaunch through Kickstarter, and I look forward to seeing that material freshened up.

RPGaDAY One and Two

And suddenly it was August! It has been a while, hasn’t it? My apologies, I was both ill and organizing a festival, and that ate my time like nobody’s business. But both those things are pretty much over, and August brings us to another year of #RPGaDAY. So you’re going to get sick of me real soon; let’s begin!

 

Day One: What published RPG do you wish you were playing right now?

The first RPG that comes to mind is In Nomine, because I have fond memories of that game from the ’90s. I’d love to get a group together and play some angel/demon fun-times, even as just a one-off, though I think the game really shines if you can get a campaign going. The mechanics are suitably interesting, and simple enough that they get out of the way of the story. And if you were of a certain age and grew up watching the spate of “Christian occult” films of the ’90s, you know exactly what the look and feel of the campaign should be. If you missed those movies, then I recommend tracking down The Prophecy, starring Eric Stoltz and Christopher Walken. Not only will it help break you of any lingering ideas about angelic cherubs, but it will give you an idea of possible plots for a campaign, and show you the many different attitudes angels and supernatural beings have toward humans.

Day Two: What is an RPG you would like to see published?

This one is tough to answer, because we’re not exactly starved for choice when it comes to RPGs these days. The rise of DriveThruRPG has meant that anyone who wants to get their niche RPG on the market can do so, and so we’ve seen any number of specifically-themed RPGs in the public eye. If I had to pick one era that I think hasn’t gotten any RPG love (and I could be wrong, there might be a game and I haven’t seen it yet) it would be the fur-trading period here in Canada. The whole history of the fur trade, the Hudson’s Bay Company versus the North West Company, and the opening up of Western Canada to European trade is a period ripe for a role-playing game. It could cover some serious subjects as well, about the treatment of indigenous populations and Colonialism. And even here in Canada I think it is a little understood period of our history.

Okay, I’m back in the saddle so I’ll see you tomorrow for Day Three!

Free RPG Day 2017

It’s that time again! June 17 is Free RPG Day, or “Tabletop Christmas” as I call it, a special day when gaming companies provide free role-playing product to encourage folks to try new RPGs. Game stores who take part will have the items available, and the better ones also run RPG events during the day.

Which brings me to where I’ll be on FRPGD. Swing by Apt to Game on Saturday and you can join me on Table 2 for a rousing round or two of Kobolds Ate My Baby!If you aren’t familiar with the game, you play those hungry little sociopaths and adventurer doorstops called kobolds, ordered by King Torg (ALL HAIL KING TORG!) to bring delicious food back to the caves. Babies are the preferred delicacy, but kobolds are also delicious so you’d better find something to put in the pot!

If kobolds aren’t your bag, you can have a seat at Table 1 and join Mark as he introduces you to FFG’s Star Wars Roleplaying Game with an Age of Rebellion adventure. Join the Rebel alliance for a few hours and try your luck against Stormtroopers and other nasties of the Star Wars universe.

Kobolds or Rebels, the choice is yours. Games begin at 1pm, and I believe the FRPGD material will be available just before that. You can book a seat at a table by stopping by the Facebook event page and leaving a comment. Otherwise, the games are first come, first served. I hope to see you there!

What’s on the Shelf?

I’m always looking for pre-generated lists to add to my gamemastering binder. You just never know what you’ll need to come up with on the fly, and lists of names (people, taverns, businesses, etc), treasures, encounters, and so on can make your GM life so much easier. After I wrote my post about marginalia, I realized that one of the things I was missing from my collection of lists was a list of book titles. As much as I love it when there is a library in a published adventure, too often they name the plot important books and ignore the rest. Inevitably one of the players will ask about those other books.

Problem solved! I sat down and made a list of book titles covering a range of subjects. I started with twenty five titles, and I’ll be adding to the list as more titles occur to me. I’ve shared those first twenty five below, giving you a starting point for your own list. Obviously you should feel free to modify these entries to better fit your campaign. The titles range in tone from silly to serious. The list is also weighted to books which might fit a fantasy or occult campaign, but it wouldn’t be hard to create a list of more modern titles if that was needed.

  1. Non-Euclidean Geometry and Its Application to Architectural Design, Vol. II (Vol. I is not present)
  2. Oozes, Molds, and Semi-Intelligent Plants: A Cook’s Guide
  3. My Time Amongst the Vegepygmies
  4. Her Hooves They Shone Like the Diamonds: Collected Love Poems and Songs of the Centaur Peoples
  5. What Colour is Your Gelatinous Cube?: Tips for Using Dyes and Stains 
  6. Elves are from the Feywild, Orcs are from Gruumsh
  7. A Fifty Year Retrospective of the Cheesemaker’s Guild
  8. Inter-City Relations in Post-Scarcity Faerun
  9. The Care and Feeding of Your Buopoth
  10. A Gentleman’s Guide to Bullywug Etiquette
  11. The Collected Minutes of the Ptolus Benevolent Society, Volume XVII
  12. Gold, Beer, and Steel: A Dwarven Songbook
  13. Oh Brother Where Art Thou?: How to Lead Your Own Cult
  14. Half-Orc, All Rage: Tips and Tricks for Anger Management
  15. Calling the Great Old Ones, a Posthumous Publication
  16. Monster Scatology: a Jeweler’s Guide
  17. Whose Bones are Those?: Dice Games of the Planes
  18. Kobold Guide to Trap Design
  19. Predator and Prey: Dating a Lycanthrope
  20. Weather Readings on Mount Thrandor, Common Year 4637
  21. If it Fits, It’s Grits: A Field Guide to Goblin Cuisine
  22. A Barbarian’s Guide to Unleashing What’s Inside (Your Enemy)
  23. Fur-braiding Styles of the Lowland Bugbear Tribes
  24. A Crafter’s Guide to Humanoid Physiology
  25. The Mysterious Case of the Left-handed Flumph

There you go! Feel free to adjust any of these titles to better fit your campaign. Or don’t, and leave the players wondering.

Do you have some favourite in-game book titles? Share them in the comments below.

ACG MiniCon at The Adventurer’s Guild

UPDATE: Due to issues beyond the organizers’ control, the event has been postponed. Stay tuned, and I’ll update here when I have new information.

As many of you know I used to be the Venture Captain for Pathfinder Organized Play here in Edmonton. After three years I stepped down, leaving PFS in the capable hands of Ross Tait. While I don’t get out to PFS games as often as I like, I still keep a hand in; I’ll be off to PaizoCon and GenCon to help out at PFS HQ. All this is to say, I’m still a fan of PFS and I enjoy helping promote it. Ross asked me to pass along a really cool event, so here is Ross to tell you all about it.

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Hello everyone!

I am excited to announce for the first time ever in Edmonton history, the very first Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Mini Con!!

On Saturday, April 22nd at the Adventurers Guild (15211 Stony Plain Road), ACG Venture-Lieutenants Jason Switner , Aaron Steele, and myself will showcase the Adventure Card Game and help other players learn how to play this fun game. Games start at 11am and run all day. It’s drop in and we can accommodate groups who want to play together or singles who just want to show up and play. Each session is only 1 and half hours long so they easily can be fit into a Saturday when you have time. If you want to play again, you can! If you can only make one session, that’s fine too! We will be featuring the Rise of the Runelords, Mummy’s Mask, Skull and Shackles, and Wrath of the Righteous box sets!

Best part….it’s free to play!!

For PFS players who want to give it a shot, there will be a draw at the end of the day where player’s can earn a racial boon for their characters that was available at previous cons. This includes the grippli, the vishkanya, and the aasimar. Player’s choice.

So come on out and give it a try. We look forward to seeing you there!!

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There you have it. I can say I’ve played the Adventure Card Game a bunch, and it is a tonne of fun. If you’ve never played before this is your chance to check it out and start building up a character. And maybe I’ll see you there!

Guest Post: The Elven Monk

One of the things I wanted to do for the site this year was get some guest bloggers to contribute, and to do some guest blogging of my own. Jesse C. Cohoon over at Fantasy Roleplaying Planes reached out with a post, and I’m currently working on a post for his site as well. In an earlier article I talked about how I had changed some races to better fit my campaign. So Jesse’s article seemed like a good fit, as an alternate way to look at the Elven people. I hope you enjoy, and take a look over at his site if you have the chance.Brent

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The Elven Monk

Elves are typically presented as aloof, long-lived protectors of the forest, experts in magic, sword, and bow. But this is only one interpretation of what elven culture can be. What would happen if a sect of elves decided to remove themselves from society altogether, abandon their forest homes, seeking instead lives of meditation and quiet contemplation? Elves have a serene quality about them, and due to their longevity if they bend their minds and wills to focus on this, have a wisdom which few can match.

Lands & History

This branch of the Elven people withdrew from the world. They were tired of the constant need to protect the land from invaders. So they found a mountaintop constantly shrouded in blizzards and built a home there, daring anyone to try to take it away from them. They built a community with their temple at the center of it, which they named Yana Halt tel’ Loomi Raumo, translatedto common as “Leap of the storm clouds.” Despite this limiting factor of their location, they seem self-sufficient in getting all they need, having learned how to garden indoors, coaxing vegetables and fruiting plants to grow in what sparse light they have.  They also have a herd of alpacas which they use the meat and wool to weave their simple robes from.

Community

The Elven monks of this community spend their times training their minds and bodies to perfection. Everyone shares in chores alike: men, women, and as they are able to, children. Even though they are a temple, there is a sense of community and commonality for all there. This is not to say they’re not strict about their members adhering to the temple’s standards. If a member violates its rules, they may be asked to leave. For the most part, they do not welcome strangers into their lands with open arms . That is not to say they are inhospitable; if someone stumbles into their temple grounds needing help, they’ll supply them with what is needed: be it food or a guide, and send them on their way.

Appearance

They are typically lithe men and women who wear simple robes of a single color, oftentimes decorated with a sash of a different colored material to note their status or position within the community. When adventuring, this sash also doubles as storage for anything they’re carrying with them. On their feet they wear simple sandals.

Everyone originally from the community is first encountered bald. Newcomers to the temple for training or to join are required to shave their heads.

Personality

This group of Elves are isolationists, preferring not to get involved with the outside world. This is not to say they will not; if the situation arises and someone can convince them that their skills are needed, they will venture out into the world to face and defeat the evil. They’re fearsome foes to those that oppose them. Woe to be the enemy that confronts them in their mountaintop home.

Most of them are soft spoken, and will rarely initiate a conversation, preferring to mind their own business rather than getting involved in outside situations, unless failing to do so would violate their oath.

Weapons & Armor

They don’t typically wear armor, as it interferes with their acrobatic movements, but that’s not to say that they’re defenseless. The monks are trained to use their sash to parry attacks and use it to misdirect attacks from vital areas, sometimes blocking them from hitting completely. They typically carry a long three section staff that has a length of rope coiled onto it. The rope can be uncoiled to reveal a folding grappling hook. This combination is used similarly to the o-kusarigama, and can be used to cross gaps, and trip or entangle foes.

Skills & Powers

Due to their constant exposure to the elements, this branch of Elven monks can ignore the side effects of normal cold weather. If their training is advanced enough, they may be able to shrug off cold damage. They can deliver a chilling Ki attack with their palm strikes. Also, due to their physical training makes them surefooted in all but the most unstable of circumstances. They also are excellent climbers. Unfortunately, due to their social isolation, they aren’t good conversationalists, and despite their serenity, sometimes don’t make a good impression on others.

Adventures

Elven monks from Yana Halt tel’ Loomi Raumo may be found adventuring if they are seeking more advanced training, coming back home from guiding a lost traveler, or after having fought other evils.

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Jesse Cohoon is a blogger who writes about tabletop gaming. His strength comes from being able to pull his experience from fantasy novels, video games, and real world experiences and combine them into one. His blog can be found at fantasyroleplayingplanes.blogspot.com. Contact him if you want him to do a guest article for your site.