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The Thursday Thing #13, September 23, 2021

Steve
United States
Allen Park
Michigan
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From gallery of sdonohue

The goal of The Thing is to highlight contests and other interesting things on RPG Geek.

Obviously, the banners and The Thursday Thing are still evolving, but I think the banners are getting better every week as we replace my "art" with Patrick's.

Suggestions are still welcome.

[REMINDER] - In the temporary absence of Steve this Geek Production is being compiled by Sam/Bifford, so please send any ideas, In My Own Words or complaints to him.


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On Habits
by Hida Mann

I'm trying to write an "In My Own Words" each week. But that's just part of a bigger plan - trying to write something each day, with a view to actually putting some of it out there in the long run.

At the same time, I've been trying to lose weight - more specifically, trying to cut out snacks between meals (and by extension, a lot of junk food).

One of these projects is going much better than the other, but both are really, really hard.

Why? Habit.

It's not my habit to write daily. It is my habit to snack. Going against my grain, even if I know it's learned behaviour, is a big challenge. Even stranger? I really like writing, and I feel good about myself when I get through a day without junk food. If I can find positive reinforcements like that, why is it challenging to stick with these things?

Internally, I've always just accepted that I'm not a person with a lot of willpower, but if I step back and think for a moment, I'm stubborn as #@$! when I have something to defend. Why the dichotomy? Again, it's habit. I've had to fight for things tenaciously before, but making myself stick to a regimen and changing myself? That's the edge of my map.

Let's bring it back to something we share around here; roleplaying. I try to make every character I play different. I try to distinguish my NPCs when I GM, through voice or manner or diction or cadence. I try to create plots that are different from what has come before. but I know that inevitably, I'm drawn back to the tropes I find fascinating - as a player, I seriously don't know how to build a character who doesn't have a political axe to grind and a chip on their shoulder. As a GM, my players know they will be facing a godlike entity at some point, and they are always looking for the clever loophole I will inevitably offer them that allows them to win the day. They also know that they will encounter NPCs with Russian, English, Scottish and Irish accents, inescapably.

That's how it was for years, until I found Call of Cthulhu. The first adventure I ran was set in Indiana and I didn't use any of my standard accents. The second, I had an explosion tear my brother in half, straight up killing him. In the third, the PCs all died to close a rift in reality. Have these things become habits? No, but they have become items in my toolkit as a GM and through exposure to them, I've grown.

I might never be slim, or a writer of any great note, but every day that I succeed at not snacking is a day better I am at managing myself. Every piece I put to paper (as it were) is a few more words I've put out there in the search for something profound. Changing habits is hard, but like so many things, it's a matter of perspective and subtle advancement. Take a moment to zoom out and enjoy gradual change, my friends.

From gallery of sdonohue

The latest "Behind the Screen" article is by Stu Denison, who delves in to World-Creation and Performativity in Sessions 0-1. Potentially a huge topic, I feel it deserves being discussed, and there is a grand start of such at:
Behind the Screen #77: Something about a World and a Stage; World-Creation and Performativity from Sessions 0-1

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Love him, or hate him, Bryce says it as it is (in his mind at least). It is not often that he gives praise to an RPG item, so when he does I feel it is worth looking into further. He has written a review of The Sepulchre of Seven, and while there are things that can be improved with it, on the whole he fair glows in his review and is like a proud father. Check it out at:
(The Sepulchre of Seven) First Effort. Great Effort.

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I may be a little biassed on this one as I played Krystal during these sessions, but other people were there too, not least of which is Leonie. It was an interesting investigation, with angels and demons cooperating in the same town to take souls. They needed to be stopped. Read the adventure (or part, thereof) here:
Monster of the Week (Revised) - Summoning symbols all over town - Play by VoIP

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Every day there's a new Question of the Day. Most of them are game-related but once in a while we get one that'a more geek-related like favorite movies or books. The question changes every day and you can even suggest a QOTD. When you check out this week's Question of the Week, you can see a link to all the old questions and the chance to suggest a question of your own. Here's this week's QOTD:
QOTD SEP 19: Do you think character death through bad rolls/bad luck is acceptable?

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There are a lot of podcasts being made. With COVID-19 and lockdown I know a lot of new pods sprang up (I will be on the next episode by DoubleDM, which started in lockdown!) Find the full list here:
/browse/rpgpodcast

With the latest episodes listed at:
/browse/rpgpodcastepisode


From gallery of sdonohue

Here are some other things you might want to check out.
Behind the Screen is an archive of advice by and for GMs written by members of our community.
Geek of the Week Month is a chance to learn more about our community members.
Contest Subscription Thread os where we go to find contests on the RPG side.
US RPG Chain of Generosity 2021 is where people in the US swap things they don't want for things they do.
Kickstarter RPG Game Books - 2021 is updated with all the latest RPG offerings.
RPG Spotlight Event Tracker is a focus on different games with questions and ideas. It's new, but gaining steam!
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Thu Sep 23, 2021 6:00 am
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The Thursday Thing #12, September 16, 2021

Steve
United States
Allen Park
Michigan
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From gallery of sdonohue

The goal of The Thing is to highlight contests and other interesting things on RPG Geek.

Obviously, the banners and The Thursday Thing are still evolving, but I think the banners are getting better every week as we replace my "art" with Patrick's.

Suggestions are still welcome.

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

On Mechanics
by Hida Mann

So, my car was making this funny noise the other day...

What? Oh, right. Sorry about that.

>AHEM<

Why are some systems crunchier than others? Apart from the obvious answer "because we all like different things'?

On the Board Game side of things, people often use an imaginary scale like this to 'measure' board games:

Theme ----------------------------------------- Mechanics

It's not too hard to recognise that a binary system like this is flawed and fails to account for a lot of people (subtle political metaphor). The easiest way to prove this on the scale above is to ask about interaction between the players - you could argue that it's an aspect of mechanics, or that it's a symbol of successful theming, but the truth is that it's a third tier of measurement. We do have to be careful, because this way lies madness - we could make anything a unit of measure for a game. How blue is it? How sour? How good is it for playing on a speedboat?

But the basic problem of dichotomous measurement is apparent; a game can have great theme and great mechanics, but not be super fun for people to play, which defeats the purpose of it being a game.

Back to roleplaying. Why can't we just re-theme games over any set of mechanics we like? Boiled down, the challenges in an RPG are the same, right? an action that isn't certain needs to be overcome through some form of random element, action economy or resource expenditure.

Side note - yes, of course generic systems exist. My favourite of them is Fiasco and my least favourite is GURPS - but my question here is a little bit bigger than choice of system and deserves a bigger answer than 'you can re-theme games over any set of mechanics you like'

Personally, I have two answers I'll offer you. Agree with me, disagree with me, just put more traffic on Steve's post and pump those metrics, baby!

Firstly, 'Crunch' and 'Narrative' tickle different pleasure centres in my brain. I like playing Pathfinder because it challenges me to create, build and develop a character in interesting ways. It asks me to play in a tactical fashion, making the best combat choices and skill choices, and do so as part of a group. I like playing 7th Sea7th Sea because it tells me I can do anything I like for an action, while inviting me to say 'yes, and' when other players do the same. Moreover, I like it because it puts the focus on me and my friends being swashbuckling adventurers, achieving outrageous feats of derring-do without worrying about having a +2 bonus from a feat at any point.

The mechanics for these two games are utterly different and virtually incomparable.

This brings me to my second answer - there's a magical place where mechanics and narrative meet. Probably the best example of it, for me, is the chase mechanics from SpycraftSpycraft. Parties involved in a chase choose a manoeuvre, roll to see if they succeed at it and then compare their results to figure out what happens. Both can succeed. Both can fail. Things happen either way and the narrative to explain that is endlessly fascinating to me.

There are absolutely other truths about narrative, mechanics, dichotomies and why people play games - I'd love to hear some of them!

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2021 24 Hour Cartography Challenge - RESULTS
The 2021 24 Hour Cartography Challenge results are in. Come join the conversation and praise!


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Legacy of Dragonholt - A Positive Review
The Legacy of Dragonholt crosses the divide between board games, RPGs and solo RPGs. August Stapput provides us with an eloquent review. Please go and add comments!


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21st Century XDM Man
Join a crew on an interesting journey.
ctimmins wrote:
"As it develops, the page-ripping incident is worse that death."
ctimmins wrote:
"I fully expect to see a notary hobgoblin sitting at a desk. I fully am disappointed."

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Every day there's a new Question of the Day. Most of them are game-related but once in a while we get one that'a more geek-related like favorite movies or books. The question changes every day and you can even suggest a QOTD. When you check out this week's Question of the Week, you can see a link to all the old questions and the chance to suggest a question of your own. Here's this week's QOTD: QOTD SEP 3: How do you learn a new RPG?


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Everyone needs a little help every now and then. Steve has a lot on his plate currently and real life has taken hold. The keen eyed of you saw this getting populated a bit at a time tonight. I (Bifford) will try to do this each week, but I'll need to wait for the auto-post to kick in before I can do so! Please be patient each week till Steve can resume his position as awesome dude of the Thursday Thing. Oh, and send me your Thursday THing article instead of Steve for now.


From gallery of sdonohue

Here are some other things you might want to check out.
Behind the Screen is an archive of advice by and for GMs written by members of our community.
Geek of the Week Month is a chance to learn more about our community members.
Contest Subscription Thread os where we go to find contests on the RPG side.
US RPG Chain of Generosity 2021 is where people in the US swap things they don't want for things they do.
Kickstarter RPG Game Books - 2021 is updated with all the latest RPG offerings.
RPG Spotlight Event Tracker is a focus on different games with questions and ideas. It's new, but gaining steam!
Twitter Facebook
4 Comments
Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:00 am
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The Thursday Thing #11, September 9, 2021

Steve
United States
Allen Park
Michigan
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From gallery of sdonohue

The goal of The Thing is to highlight contests and other interesting things on RPG Geek.

Obviously, the banners and The Thursday Thing are still evolving, but I think the banners are getting better every week as we replace my "art" with Patrick's.

Suggestions are still welcome.

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

On 'The Industry'
Hida Mann

I'm not sure if understanding has grown or not over time, but no-one gets into making games for the money. The best and worst thing about the game industry is the passion that everyone brings to it.

In 2012, I was a very active member of the RPGG community (and BGG, and VGG, for that matter). Then I quit my job teaching literature and history and opened a game store and all my spare time just vanished. On paper, running a store and teaching take about the same amount of time; both have a core 5 days a week, both have take home work which adds invisibly to the time spent on work each week. But with a store, every spare second you have has to be reinvested into the community. The first year completely burnt me out - on reflection, I think I had a serious mental episode that took me years to bounce back from. My hobbies vanished from my life in service to the time needed to do those extra promotions, demos, planning, learn new skills about business and marketing...

And in some ways, it paid off. In 2016, I was offered a job as the brand manager for a chain of stores, helping them all to replicate the successes I found in mine. This was very good for me, as I was getting a salary, had more consistent hours and the bargaining power of 25 stores behind me, where previously I was trying to do it all alone. There were challenges, to be sure, but things slowly returned to normal on a personal level. Bridges were mended and I was able to approach normality again, but I still didn't find much time to come hang out on the 'Geek, because the expectations of my new role were 25 times bigger than they had been, and I had to work around the schedules of 25 other people.

In 2019, I was offered another job in the industry, working for someone who I was friends with, who offered me pay equal to the time I put into my work and opportunities beyond that which I'd ever had a store, or representative of many stores. He also told me not to keep working after I'd put in a full week and encouraged me to find some time for myself and my family. The business is international, so I could keep my own hours as well, knowing that I'd be able to get work done late or early or anywhere inbetween. This was all quite a revelation. I now have time to write these columns for Steve (most weeks) and do more than look up the hotness or promote something I'm working on. Feels good. I doubt I'll ever get back to being as deep in the community as I was way back when, but I'm feeling a lot more connected now than I have in years.

Passion drives us to our highest highs and our lowest lows. This industry, the games we love, it's all built on passion and love. Next time you watch a stream, or go to a con, or even visit your FLGS (especially when you visit your FLGS), buy the people making/running doing that thing a coffee and give them a smile. Trust me, they're working for it.

From gallery of sdonohue

AlbaCon 2021 - An online, charity focused RPG Convention.

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Bryce gives us a review of s self-published adventure by fellow user Merric
A solid concept stumbling on delivery ... as is usual, it seems.
PS: I don't speak French, but if you do, Vermer is writing a lot of reviews in French lately.

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Moscamye brings us a session of 1000 Year Old Vampire: My Favourite Vampire - Radminka - who became a pacifist and a god of blood


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Every day there's a new Question of the Day. Most of them are game-related but once in a while we get one that'a more geek-related like favorite movies or books. The question changes every day and you can even suggest a QOTD. When you check out this week's Question of the Week, you can see a link to all the old questions and the chance to suggest a question of your own. Here's this week's QOTD:
QOTD SEP 8: What is the most number of different RPGs that you have played over a weekend (Fri-Sun)? What is the most number of different RPGs that you have played during a game convention?


From gallery of sdonohue

Here are some other things you might want to check out.
Behind the Screen is an archive of advice by and for GMs written by members of our community.
Geek of the Week Month is a chance to learn more about our community members.
Contest Subscription Thread os where we go to find contests on the RPG side.
US RPG Chain of Generosity 2021 is where people in the US swap things they don't want for things they do.
Kickstarter RPG Game Books - 2021 is updated with all the latest RPG offerings.
RPG Spotlight Event Tracker is a focus on different games with questions and ideas. It's new, but gaining steam!
Twitter Facebook
2 Comments
Thu Sep 9, 2021 6:00 am
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The Thursday Thing #10, September 2, 2021

Steve
United States
Allen Park
Michigan
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From gallery of sdonohue

The Thursday Thing might be a new feature depending on how people feel about it. The goal of The Thing is to highlight contests and other interesting things on RPG Geek.

Obviously, the banners and The Thursday Thing are still evolving, but I think the banners are getting better every week as we replace my "art" with Patrick's.

Suggestions are still welcome.

From gallery of sdonohue

A new month brings a new geek of the week/month; let the interrogation begin!
RPG Geek of the Week/Month September 2021 #456 Jim P (MightyJim83)

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Jodokast checks in with something we don't see very often; a positive review of an adventure!
Jodokast's review after running this Amazing Adventure

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FullTinCan offers a different approach to a session report
Letter from Viscount Nentrys Rhydulf to Count Rhydulf

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Every day there's a new Question of the Day. Most of them are game-related but once in a while we get one that'a more geek-related like favorite movies or books. The question changes every day and you can even suggest a QOTD. When you check out this week's Question of the Week, you can see a link to all the old questions and the chance to suggest a question of your own. Here's this week's QOTD:
QOTD AUG 30: How does your role playing change during a session when you have strangers at the table?

From gallery of sdonohue

This is the last week to vote for the 2021 24 Hour RPG Cartography Contest - VOTING CLOSED


From gallery of sdonohue

Here are some other things you might want to check out.
Behind the Screen is an archive of advice by and for GMs written by members of our community.
Geek of the Week Month is a chance to learn more about our community members.
Contest Subscription Thread os where we go to find contests on the RPG side.
US RPG Chain of Generosity 2021 is where people in the US swap things they don't want for things they do.
Kickstarter RPG Game Books - 2021 is updated with all the latest RPG offerings.
RPG Spotlight Event Tracker is a focus on different games with questions and ideas. It's new, but gaining steam!
Twitter Facebook
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Thu Sep 2, 2021 6:00 am
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The Thursday Thing #9, August 26, 2021

Steve
United States
Allen Park
Michigan
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That's probaby some crap over there.
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From gallery of sdonohue

The Thursday Thing might be a new feature depending on how people feel about it. The goal of The Thing is to highlight contests and other interesting things on RPG Geek.

Obviously, the banners and The Thursday Thing are still evolving, but I think the banners are getting better every week as we replace my "art" with Patrick's.

Suggestions are still welcome.

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

On Vision
by Hida Mann

So, this week, I picked up Dune: Adventures in the Imperium.

RPG Item: Dune: Adventures in the Imperium Core Rulebook


I'm a big Dune fan and already have a group of interested players. I really just needed to get my hands on the rules and figure out how to marry them with the campaign I already have in mind, which looks like this:

The players are a criminal group on Caladan, running minor scams, small time smuggling, a couple of heists - nothing big enough to have anyone bandy about the term 'organised crime'. They run a bar, they do some dodgy deals, but no-one except the corporations gets hurt.
But when House Atreides falls and the Harkonnen move in to take over Caladan, not only is their livelihood in danger, but they find the community turning to them for help. Can the players overcome their baser natures, or embrace them in a way that means they might turn a profit at the Harkonnen's expense? When someone much bigger and meaner takes control, can these low-level bad guys become something more - perhaps even heroes?

So, there I am, ready to start writing, when I discover that this is absolutely not a system designed to support this adventure (insert asterisk here to prevent immediate rage from anyone who thinks I'm not coming to modifying things and making it work). Part of character creation is the PCs creating their own house and part of the game is overseeing the high-level politics of that house. That's an awesome conceit and fits the universe well, but also, what happens to my small-time tale of people on the fringe of the Duniverse?

Obviously, I can hack it and make it fit - and I'm going to have a great time doing so. But what's interesting about the situation is that initial gut-punch moment when you have a grand idea for a game, then discover an obstacle. In this case, it's the system, in others, it could be a PC that doesn't fit well, or a player who can't commit, or writer's block, or making the decision to break with 'canon' - there's a million ways to die in the proverbial west.

I think it's really important to recognise that your vision for a game should be both flexible and paramount; The Rules should never stop you from exploring and expressing an idea that you want in your game - that's the soul of the 'Golden Rule' so oft-quoted in core books of all systems. But in the end, we make entertainments for our friends in these game worlds and systems and that always requires a certain amount of negotiation and compromise to make things fit. Maybe the real vision isn't about the plot at all, but that mental picture of your friends, seated around the table, telling a cool story with you - make that happen one way or another and you're winning.

From gallery of sdonohue

Well, the post is new, but not the topic; Lowell Kempf take a look at Grimtooth's Traps.

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Duty's Fist takes a look at 13th Age with The saddest review I've ever written.

From gallery of sdonohue

It's been a year since the last time we had a session report on Star Trek Adventures but this one was worth the wait: Star Trek Adventures - Season 1, Episode 1: "Calm Seas" (Pt. 1/3)

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Every day there's a new Question of the Day. Most of them are game-related but once in a while we get one that'a more geek-related like favorite movies or books. The question changes every day and you can even suggest a QOTD. When you check out this week's Question of the Week, you can see a link to all the old questions and the chance to suggest a question of your own. Here's this week's QOTD:
QOTD AUG 22: What should (or shouldn't) be included in the PDF preview for an RPG rulebook?

From gallery of sdonohue

Ever thought about creating your own microbadge? This list will help!
Creating Microbadges - Hints, Help, and How to avoid common mistakes

From gallery of sdonohue

Here are some other things you might want to check out.
Behind the Screen is an archive of advice by and for GMs written by members of our community.
Geek of the Week Month is a chance to learn more about our community members.
Contest Subscription Thread os where we go to find contests on the RPG side.
US RPG Chain of Generosity 2021 is where people in the US swap things they don't want for things they do.
Kickstarter RPG Game Books - 2021 is updated with all the latest RPG offerings.
RPG Spotlight Event Tracker is a focus on different games with questions and ideas. It's new, but gaining steam!
Twitter Facebook
7 Comments
Thu Aug 26, 2021 6:00 am
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The Thursday Thing #8, August 19, 2021

Steve
United States
Allen Park
Michigan
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That's probaby some crap over there.
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From gallery of sdonohue

The Thursday Thing might be a new feature depending on how people feel about it. The goal of The Thing is to highlight contests and other interesting things on RPG Geek.

Obviously, the banners and The Thursday Thing are still evolving, but I think the banners are getting better every week as we replace my "art" with Patrick's.

Suggestions are still welcome.

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

On Inspiration...
By Hida Mann

I GM a lot more than I play. I love both ways to contribute to a game, but there's undeniably more work that goes into writing and running a game. One of the most important skills I've learned as a GM is to always have a small portion of my brain working on session planning (side note: the next best trick is getting that portion to stay small and not let it take over everything).

You've probably heard that there are only 7 basic plots (this ranges up to 16 and as low as 5, depending which writerbait you click on) out there, so shaking things up in your game is important. Without writing a treatise, the thing I value most at my table is the moments of total immersion, where player and character meld seamlessly and for a brief instant, everyone is living the adventure. To get there, you need more than stats and monsters and a shiny, shiny macguffin item - you need inspiration.

This is where that small, constantly active portion of the brain comes in - all media I consume is filtered for potential gems that I can bring to the table. Honestly? I'm not even all that good at it, compared with professional writers, film directors and whoever dreamed up this video clip:



Seriously. So much going on there in just a few minutes, with no dialogue. I want to play at that guy's table.

So I'm a thief of art - so what? Shakespeare did it. Homer did it. Both of them. I'm in good company. The trick is just to recombine things - grab a romance/murder subplot from Death in Paradise, slam it into 'how the fey work' from the Dresden Files, change the names out for the surnames of members of the band Blues Traveler and set it in that cool establishing shot from Blade Runner, as a corporation and you've got the makings of a cyberpunk game for the ages. It gets even better when the players bring their own ideas to the table as well, turning your montage of ideas into something truly unique and new, all its own.

Everything you see, hear and read is a game in the making. Don't hesitate to take great ideas and adapt them into your story. That's what inspiration really is, in the end - an idea someone else had that sparks one in you.

From gallery of sdonohue

The latest round of Behind the Screen is about intra-party conflict (sort of).
Behind the Screen #76: Advanced Dungeons and Dragons

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Normally I'd exclude myself from this contest, but this week is a little different. I finally finished reviewing all 96 books in the Pathfinder Player Companion series and reviewed the series as a whole here:
The Short Version? The Pathfinder Player Companion series has a lot of bloat to answer for.

From gallery of sdonohue

More on the Raven's Purge campaign this week:
Raven's Purge Campaign - Session #18: Prophets and Princesses

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Every day there's a new Question of the Day. Most of them are game-related but once in a while we get one that'a more geek-related like favorite movies or books. The question changes every day and you can even suggest a QOTD. When you check out this week's Question of the Week, you can see a link to all the old questions and the chance to suggest a question of your own. Here's this week's QOTD:
QOTD AUG 13: What was the first RPG you played? How has that game influenced your play style and preferences?

From gallery of sdonohue

RPG Geek mostly discourages trash talk, except in designated areas:
Tavern Trash Talk Game, in this thread you post something about the user or post above you
The Dark Brotherhood of the Trash Talk - Memberlist


From gallery of sdonohue

Here are some other things you might want to check out.
Behind the Screen is an archive of advice by and for GMs written by members of our community.
Geek of the Week Month is a chance to learn more about our community members.
Contest Subscription Thread os where we go to find contests on the RPG side.
US RPG Chain of Generosity 2021 is where people in the US swap things they don't want for things they do.
Kickstarter RPG Game Books - 2021 is updated with all the latest RPG offerings.
RPG Spotlight Event Tracker is a focus on different games with questions and ideas. It's new, but gaining steam!
Twitter Facebook
5 Comments
Thu Aug 19, 2021 6:00 am
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The Thursday Thing #7, August 12, 2021

Steve
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Allen Park
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From gallery of sdonohue

The Thursday Thing might be a new feature depending on how people feel about it. The goal of The Thing is to highlight contests and other interesting things on RPG Geek.

Suggestions for specific topics or new topics are welcome.

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Secret Cthanta
by Bifford

When RPGGeek sprung into being in 2009 from out of the depths of BGGeek they also pulled across the Christmas Gift Exchange. Marqos started things running and within 3 (of 5) pages it was given its own identity, the persona "Cthanta Claus" was born, with Cthanta Claus being the sock-puppet account one could use to taunt others with. There has been a loose pulp horror theme ever since, with Cthanta, his cultists and minions taunting users each year, but no one is forced to don that persona.

BTW: Cthanta's very first (public) words were......."You too cutie." hahaha (Auntie Olive would turn in her....nest....)

Marqos ran the Cthanta exchange from 2009 to 2014, and did a great job. He decided to step down, and I stepped up. It's had its hickups, with selfish users taking gifts while not giving. Thankfully RPGGeek has a beautiful set of users, some of whom step up each year as 'Dread Angels', to give that little bit extra and provide extra gifts for those found unworthy by the great Cthanta (let down by their appointed giver). My logistical process of vetting, stalking and messaging users to ensure trustworthiness, as well as noting who has sent and received, has improved year on year and has made things easier to track and therefore less stressful.

For the past few years I've thought about hanging up my tentacles and passing the baton onto another, but each year I come back and decided "maybe just once more". While it takes up to 4 or 5 hours to set up each year (and that after spending 3 or 4 hours on an updated banner image) it is worth it to see users give and receive plus enjoy the giving as much as the receiving.

For me, the best part is dishing out GG to the posts on the "Look What Cthanta Claus Sent Me" Geeklist, as well as compiling the data into a "Gift List", showing which items are the most popular in each year.

We have never cracked the 50 user mark in the Cthanta Exchange. Maybe this year?


From gallery of sdonohue

This week saw the end of the 24 Hour Cartography Contest and now it's time to vote. This might be the easiest 24 hour contest vote you'll ever cast -- there are 9 maps on 1 page each, so reading isn't the chore it sometimes is. To make your voice heard and see all the entries, check out: 2021 24 Hour RPG Cartography Contest - VOTING CLOSED.

A double dose of new this week as the 2019 (no, that's right) Memorial Random Table project has shifted from choosing a theme to populating the table. If you've got some ideas (at least one, not more than three) for Random Thing Raised from the Dead!, please go here and suggest them: The Great 2019 Memorial Random Table Project (Happening now - August 2021!). All ideas accepted.

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

The only thing better than a Panzer-Attack session report might be one of his reviews. Check out this review of a hybrid item:
Rangers of Shadow Deep. Not an RPG But Still A Good Time.

From gallery of sdonohue

The pickings were a little slim for session reports this week (which is to say, everyone should write more!) This one by alhazared was fun to read.
Trouble in Somerlisse: Part 9 - The Denizens of Denecar Bog

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Every day there's a newQuestion of the Day. Most of them are game-related but once in a while we get one that'a more geek-related like favorite movies or books. The question changes every day and you can even suggest a QOTD. When you check out this week's Question of the Week, you can see a link to all the old questions and the chance to suggest a question of your own. Here's this week's QOTD:
QOTD AUG 6: What was the kindest act you witness a PC perform during a session? Why did they do what they did?
(I confess to being a sucker for stories of kindness)


From gallery of sdonohue

This geeklist tends to get traffic in waves, but it's still a fun one to check in on once in a while even if it is almost 9 years old.
The Many Names of Gamemasters


From gallery of sdonohue

Here are some other things you might want to check out.
Behind the Screen is an archive of advice by and for GMs written by members of our community.
RPG Geek of the Week/Month August 2021 #455 Zac Jensen (zjensen3) is a chance to learn more about our community members.
Contest Subscription Thread os where we go to find contests on the RPG side.
US RPG Chain of Generosity 2021 is where people in the US swap things they don't want for things they do.
Kickstarter RPG Game Books - 2021 is updated with all the latest RPG offerings.
RPG Spotlight Event Tracker is a focus on different games with questions and ideas. It's new, but gaining steam!
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Thu Aug 12, 2021 6:00 am
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The Thursday Thing #6, August 5, 2021

Steve
United States
Allen Park
Michigan
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That's probaby some crap over there.
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From gallery of sdonohue

The Thursday Thing might be a new feature depending on how people feel about it. The goal of The Thing is to highlight contests and other interesting things on RPG Geek.

Suggestions are still welcome.

From gallery of sdonohue

Gen Con
by brumcg

You may have noticed over the years that I kinda enjoy Gen Con. In 2021, it will be my 20th Gen Con (18 in Indy, 2 in Milwaukee).

As I infamously said regarding something else, Gen Con isn't for everyone. There are better cons for playing games, and there are less expensive cons. Gen Con, however, brings the spectacle. At its peak, a mere two years ago, Gen Con had 70,000 attendees and close to 400 exhibitors. Gaming and other events are spread out among the massive Indianapolis Convention Center area.

You can talk to 10 different attendees, and it would sound like they attended 10 different cons. My Gen Con is a vacation with friends. The vast majority of my time is spent in the Exhibit Hall where I check out games old and new, make some purchases, and maybe do a few demos. I don't do many events and sometimes none at all. We eat, drink, and play games at night - usually something purchased at the Con.

Gen Con has shifted over the years from a RPG-centric convention to board games. Minis are also very popular, and there are booths of all kinds (LARP boutiques, dice, storage, accessories, candles, tea, and a bar once).

2021 will be a very different convention with many attendees and exhibitors skipping due to the pandemic. I'm still planning on going, but I am keeping an eye on things. Safety first.

Here on the Geek, I share my obsession in some Geeklists:

Gen Con: Advice and Lessons Learned
RPG Products Releasing at Gen Con 2021 (By Publisher)
Brumcg's What I Want to Check Out at Gen Con 2021
Brumcg's Gen Con 2019 Report... RPG Flavored? (2019 version)

If you have any questions, post in the comments or visit any of the lists above.

See you there?

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This review by the infamous
Bryce Lynch
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Indianapolis
Indiana
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bryce0lync[/uisername] may have propelled the new king of the Hotness
Weirldy ... mostly not actually adventures

From gallery of sdonohue

This week's session of the week is by Neowulf for Honey Heist, the only game I know of with a t-shirt edition.
The Honey Trap

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Every day there's a new Question of the Day. Most of them are game-related but once in a while we get one that'a more geek-related like favorite movies or books. The question changes every day and you can even suggest a QOTD. When you check out this week's Question of the Week, you can see a link to all the old questions and the chance to suggest a question of your own. Here's this week's QOTD:
QOTD AUG 4: If someone wanted to create a fantasy world that does not feel like D&D, what would you recommend as an influences (books, TV, movies, RPG design books, etc.)?

From gallery of sdonohue

One game has dominated the Hotness on RPG Geek for almost 4 years. This week, it finally changed.
The Hotness, aka, The Fixed


From gallery of sdonohue

Here are some other things you might want to check out.
Behind the Screen is an archive of advice by and for GMs written by members of our community.
Geek of the Week Month is a chance to learn more about our community members.
Contest Subscription Thread os where we go to find contests on the RPG side.
US RPG Chain of Generosity 2021 is where people in the US swap things they don't want for things they do.
Kickstarter RPG Game Books - 2021 is updated with all the latest RPG offerings.
RPG Spotlight Event Tracker is a focus on different games with questions and ideas. It's new, but gaining steam!
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Thu Aug 5, 2021 6:00 am
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The Thursday Thing #5, July 29, 2021

Steve
United States
Allen Park
Michigan
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That's probaby some crap over there.
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From gallery of sdonohue

The Thursday Thing might be a new feature depending on how people feel about it. The goal of The Thing is to highlight contests and other interesting things on RPG Geek.

Obviously, the banners and The Thursday Thing are still evolving, but I think the banners are getting better every week as we replace my "art" with Patrick's.

Suggestions are still welcome.

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Banners
By pdzoch

About four years ago, I started playing by forum on the RPGG. It was not long before I noticed that some players started including banners in their in-character posts to easily identify their post in the thread. Not only did these colorful banners liven up the monotonous color scheme of the threads, but these banners were also a collage of images that represented the character and its personality. I quickly created a banner for my character and have been doing it ever since.

As I played more and more PbF games, I found myself being one of the firsts to make a banner for his character. I had not realized that PC banners were not widespread yet, and many players did not have the means, or trust their own skills, to make banners for their characters. So I offered my services.

Before I knew it, users from other games were contacting me and asking if I would make a banner for their character. I was happy to do so. I was just glad that my banner work was acceptable – I always worried whether or not the banner I made reflected the PC image the players had in their mind’s eye. Players often provided me with specific information that made it easy to build a banner. Sometimes, I really want to do something creative and I start looking for inspiration. I love creating a banner that a player has never seen anything like it before.

I soon realized that I was not alone in making banners. There were other geek users who were making PC banners for PbF games. I gathered the group of us together and we formed the Banner Makers Guild to make it easier for other to find artists and to request banners making support. It was very successful. Many banner makers have their own request threads, though the open request thread is most commonly used.

To support the new player initiative, we set up a special banner request thread for each year’s initiative to really offer a special experience to their first PbF experience. The guild prioritizes support for the new players and we try to turn requests as fast as possible.

We have even done banners for the gamemasters, NPCs, and a few important villains. Over the four years, we have made nearly a thousand banners (963 – give or take).

We have worked for free, gladly excepting tips, but greatly enjoying an appreciation of the work we have made for each player’s character.

Artists in the Banner Makers Guild have come and gone over the years. So far, six Banner Makers have earned the illustrious Master Bannersmith badge Microbadge: Master Bannersmith for making 50 banners for others on RPGG. I’m always on the lookout for more artists to help in the guild.

Lately, theBanner Makers Guild was enlisted to make banners for the RPGG News submissions. I am happy to see that my banner artwork was well received and are adorning the RPGG News entries each week. Which reminds me that I have a few more banners to get back to work on. Hmmm… now what would be a good idea for a banner for “In My Own Words”?

From gallery of sdonohue

This week, our new thread comes from the venerable Behind the Screen series by members of the community.
Behind the Screen #75: Tell me all you know - Interrogations and Interviews

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

This week's review is by the prolific [username="Red Wine Pie"]Red Wine Pie[/username] and it's focused on our RPG Spotlight game, Call of Cthulhu.
Deeper, More Thoughtful Campaigns Down Under


From gallery of sdonohue

A session of Warhammer Fantasy inspired kbclac to write this session report:
Pt. 2 Mistaken Identity

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Every day there's a new Question of the Day. Most of them are game-related but once in a while we get one that'a more geek-related like favorite movies or books. The question changes every day and you can even suggest a QOTD. When you check out this week's Question of the Week, you can see a link to all the old questions and the chance to suggest a question of your own. Here's this week's QOTD:
QOTD JUL 29: Has your group taken over a "dungeon" and started living there?

From gallery of sdonohue

Completionists will be happy to know that Clark, with significant help from Mischa D. Krilov has completed the listings for the 2007 and 2008 Game Chef competitions.
Game Chef 2007: FunGameCorp
Game Chef 2008: Artists First![/q]



From gallery of sdonohue

Here are some other things you might want to check out.
Behind the Screen is an archive of advice by and for GMs written by members of our community.
Geek of the Week Month is a chance to learn more about our community members.
Contest Subscription Thread os where we go to find contests on the RPG side.
US RPG Chain of Generosity 2021 is where people in the US swap things they don't want for things they do.
Kickstarter RPG Game Books - 2021 is updated with all the latest RPG offerings.
RPG Spotlight Event Tracker is a focus on different games with questions and ideas. It's new, but gaining steam!
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Thu Jul 29, 2021 2:47 pm
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This Week in Geek History July 25 - 31

Stymie says, "No Fidgets"
United States
Vulture City Ghost Town
Arizona
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"Betcha can't throw that donut on my finger"
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Microbadge: Traveller RPG fanMicrobadge: Sci Fi Games fanMicrobadge: Golden CamelMicrobadge: Play-by-Forum - Golden ParticipantMicrobadge: RPG Geek Play-by-Forum GM
July 25
_306 - Constantine I proclaimed Roman Emperor Microbadge: Istanbul was Constantinople
1894 - Actor Walter Brennan Microbadge: Classic western movies fan
1954 - NFL Hall of Famer Walter Payton Microbadge: Chicago Bears fan - Walter Payton

July 26
1856 - Playwright George Bernard Shaw Microbadge: George Bernard Shaw - We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.
1875 - Carl Jung, founder of analytic psychology Microbadge: Carl Jung
1894 - Author Aldous Huxley Microbadge:  "...most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution" ― Aldous Huxley, Brave New WorldMicrobadge: "I want to know what passion is. I want to feel something strongly." ― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
1922 - Scriptwriter/Director Blake Edwards Microbadge: Pink Panther fan
1928 - Director Stanley Kubrick Microbadge: Kubrick fan
1943 - Stones' Frontman Mick Jagger Microbadge: The Rolling Stones fan
1945 - Actress Helen Mirren Microbadge: Excalibur fan

July 27
1824 - French novelist Alexander Dumas the Younger (Camille)
1905 - Baseball player and manager Leo Durocher Microbadge: Baseball fan
1922 - Television producer Norman Lear (All in The Family)
1937 - Actor Don Galloway (Ironside)
1938 - Gary Gygax

July 28
1887 - Artist Marcel Duchamp Microbadge: Marcel Duchamp fan
1902 - Austro-British philosopher Karl Popper Microbadge: Karl Popper
1948 - Actress Sally Struthers (All in the Family)

July 29
1869 - Novelist Booth Tarkington (The Magnificent Ambersons)
1892 - Actor William Powell (Thin Man) Microbadge: Martini lover
1941 - Actor David Warner Microbadge: Star Trek movies fan Microbadge: Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn fan
1953 - Rush Frontman/Singer/Songwriter/Bassist Geddy Lee Microbadge: Rush fanMicrobadge: Rush fan
1954 - Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring published Microbadge: Tolkien fan
1972 - Actor/Gamer/BGG User Wil Wheaton Microbadge: “My very first friend was a warp coil.” — Wesley CrusherMicrobadge: Today on TableTop

July 30
1818 - Author Emily Bronte Microbadge: English Literature fan
1863 - Auto pioneer Henry Ford Microbadge: Ford fan
1890 - Baseball player-manager Casey Stengel Microbadge: Baseball fan
1935 - 1st Penguin book published, starting the 'paperback revolution' Microbadge: Penguin Books fan
1947 - Bodybuilder-actor-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Microbadge: Terminator fan
1961 - Actor Laurence Fishburne Microbadge: The Matrix fan

July 31
1956 - Actor Michael Biehn Microbadge: Alien fan
1962 - Actor Wesley Snipes (Blade trilogy) Microbadge: Blade fan
1965 - Author JK Rowling Microbadge: Harry Potter fan

I'm sure this list is incomplete. Feel free to offer suggestions for this and upcoming weeks. If you want your birthday included just add it to this geeklist: RPG Geek Birthday List
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Sun Jul 25, 2021 4:00 am
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