24 May 2020

Eternal Con 2020– Cancelled!

Contrary to what I wrote a few days ago, the 2020 edition of the Eternal Con has been cancelled after all. On 13 May, the government of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate has banned indoor events, and this has obviously led to the cancellation of the con, since the town of Bacharach is located in Rhineland-Palatinate.

12 May 2020

A New Gaming Podcast

Steve's profile picture on twitter...
My online RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha gamemaster, Steve aka Orlanth Rex, has taken advantage of the lockdown period to start a role-playing games podcast. His main idea is to capture the thoughts and the afterthoughts that occur to him during or after our fortnightly online games; as he explains in his introduction, online sessions are much shorter than face-to-face ones and usually get to the point (i.e., gaming) so there’s no time left to discuss meta-gaming stuff.

Note that we do tend to discuss what happened during the adventures on Twitter with Steve and the other players, both publicly and via private messages, but I reckon the aim of the podcast is really to take a back seat of sorts and mull over this little obsessive hobby of ours.

The first episode is available here, anyways, if you are interested in such matters (and you probably are, if you’re reading this).

Games featured in Episode One:
  • RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha
  • D&D 5th edition
  • Liminal
  • Würm - The Ice Age Roleplaying Game
  • Swords & Wizardry
  • The Fall of Delta Green
  • Old-School Essentials

10 May 2020

Eternal Con 2020

I have just received an e-mail from the organisers: the Eternal Con 2020 is taking place as scheduled, from 29 May until 1st June at Castle Stahleck in Bacharach.

Alas, alas, even though the lockdown is gradually being lifted starting tomorrow 11 May, the French government has forbidden any travels abroad until 10 July, so I won't be able to attend the con. My heart bleeds.

08 May 2020

Lockdown Challenge Day 26: Star Wars REUP

Star Wars REUP
My son is watching the Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series, which takes place in the Star Wars universe between episodes II and III of the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Despite my dislike for the prequel trilogy, I must say what little I have seen of The Clone Wars (mostly seasons 5 and 7) is really, really good. The writers have managed to take all the most fascinating and underused elements of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, and have built several riveting and intertwined story arcs around them. There is also much more insight into the history of the Star Wars universe, and in particular into what the Force is, into the history of the Jedi–Sith confrontation; you get to know how the clones were programmed to carry out Order 66; you get to know a lot about the history of the Mandalorians… It’s a smorgasbord of Star Wars trivia and obscure knowledge weaved into gripping 22-minute episodes.

As a true-blue Old Schooler, I have always considered that the one and only role-playing game to play in the Star Wars universe was West End Games’ role-playing game based on the D6 engine. I thought it was long dead and buried and then I found out that an active group of fans under the collective name Womp Rat Press had been keeping the game alive… Their work is available, free, improved, and beautifully illustrated under the name of the Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Revised, Expanded and Updated– or “Star Wars REUP”.

So here’s my character created in the Rise of the Empire era. Shakta is a young, naïve padawan, always ready to follow her master in the most extreme situations and irrespective of how reckless the plans are!

Character Name: Shakta Hiago
Gender/Species: Female Togruta
Age: 17
Height: 1.73m
Physical description: Tall, slender but relatively muscular. Brightly-coloured head-tails with alternating tangerine and slate stripes.

DEX 4D
  Lightsaber 5D
KNOW 2D
  Intimidation 4D
MECH 2D
PER 3D
  Search 4D
STR 3D
  Stamina 4D
TECH 2D
  Droid Programming 3D
  Droid Repair 3D

Force sensitive?: Yes
Force Points: 2

Force Skills 
Control 1D
Sense 1D
Alter 1D

Force Powers
Control: Enhance Attribute
Sense: Life Detection
Alter: Telekinesis

06 May 2020

Lockdown Challenge Day 25: Ryuutama

Ryuutama is a Japanese TTRPG that has been translated into a number of European languages. The fun thing with Ryuutama is that not only do players get to choose their character class, but the GM (the Ryuujin) also gets to choose hers! She can be a green dragon, a “standard” GM; an azure dragon, a character-interaction-oriented GM, a crimson dragon, a battle-oriented GM; or a black dragon, a harsh GM. I may be mistaken, but I believe Ryuutama is the only role-playing game that officially differentiates between various GM personae. The Ryuujin also has a level and may die! Since I’ve never played Ryuutama I have no idea how all this translates into the game, but I find it fascinating.

Anyway, back to ‘normal’ player characters– called travellers. I could choose between the following seven classes: Artisan, Farmer, Healer, Hunter, Merchant, Minstrel, Noble, and I have chosen to create an Artisan, the kind of character concept ‘regular’ role-playing games seem to ignore.

Stats are not rolled but chosen as even numbers whose total is 24 (the scores must be even because each score will translate as a type of die to be used). The four stats are STRength, which is actually more like a mix of Strength and Constitution, DEXterity, INTelligence, and SPIrit (a mix of Power and Charisma).

Name: Benidama
Age: 32 years old
Gender: Male
Favourite colour: Red

Class: Artisan
Level: 1
Job: Baker
Skills: Trapping, Crafting [Food], Repair
Type: Technical

STR d4
DEX d8
INT d6
SPI d6

Hit Points 8
Mental Points 12
Carrying Capacity 7

Mastered Weapon: Bow
Accuracy 12
Damage 8

03 May 2020

Lockdown Challenge Day 24: Pendragon 5th edition

Pendragon is a mainstay of fans of Chaosium role-playing games and of the works of Greg Stafford, yet for some reason I think I’ve only played it twice, and always at conventions hence as one-shot adventures, whereas it is well-known that Greg Stafford’s labour of love shines in a campaign game. Oh, well.

The current and latest edition (unless I’m mistaken) is the 5th edition by Nocturnal Media, although it is rumoured that Pendragon is returning to its original fold!

I’ve created this character using the 5th edition character generation rules, which limit the choice of the starting region to Salisbury. My young squire is a Pagan Welshman, more interested in courting ladies and hearing the tales of mysterious Faerieland than jousting. He relies on outmanoeuvring his foes on horseback rather than directly confronting them.

Name: Gwynn
Homeland: Salisbury
Culture: Cymric
Religion: Pagan
Father’s Name: Rhŷs
Title: le blanc
Father’s class: Vassal Knight
Son Number: 1
Liege Lord: Sir Roderick, Earl of Salisbury
Current Class: Squire
Current Home: Durnford
Age: 21

Personality TraitsChaste 7 | Lustful 13
Energetic 13 | Lazy 7
Forgiving 10 | Vengeful 10
Generous 13 | Selfish 7
Honest 13 | Deceitful 7
Just 16 | Arbitrary 4
Merciful 11 | Cruel 9
Modest 7 | Proud 13
Pious 10 | Worldly 10
Prudent 9 | Reckless 11
Temperate 10 | Indulgent 10
Trusting 10 | Suspicious 10
Valorous 15 | Cowardly 5

PassionsLoyalty (Sir Roderick) 15
Love (Family) 15
Hospitality 15
Honour 15
Hate (Saxons) 9

AttributesSIZ 11
DEX 13
STR 13
CON 13
APP 13

Damage 4D6
Healing Rate 3
Movement Rate 3
Total Hit Points 24
Unconscious 6

Non-Combat SkillsAwareness 5
Boating 10
Compose 1
Courtesy 3
Dancing 2
Faerie Lore 1
Falconry 3
First Aid 10
Flirting 3
Folklore 2
Gaming 3
Heraldry 3
Hunting 10
Intrigue 3
Orate 10
Play [harp] 3
Read [Latin] 0
Recognise 3
Religion [Pagan] 2
Romance 10
Singing 7
Stewardship 2
Swimming 2
Tourney 9

Combat SkillsBattle 10
Horsemanship 15
Sword 10
Lance 10
Spear 6
Dagger 5

29 April 2020

Lockdown Challenge Day 23: Machinations of the Space Princess

Machinations of the Space Princess is a clever little science fantasy/science fiction role-playing game by James Desborough. As implied by the name of the game, Machinations of the Space Princess has transposed the mechanics and the spirit of Lamentations of the Flame Princess to a science fantasy/science fiction milieu… and it works surprisingly well! In but 239 pages, this role-playing game covers everything needed to play in a science fantasy/science fiction campaign; there is even a whole chapter about customising one’s body using cybernetic enhancements.

Name Ss’ssk’a
Race Ophidian
Class Psion
Level 1

Charisma 14 (+2)
Comeliness 9 (−1)
Constitution 11 (0)
Dexterity 13 (+1)
Intelligence 12 (+1)
Strength 17 (+3)
Wisdom 15 (+2)

Race traits
Infrared vision
Natural weapon D6
Narrow body (may enter gaps)
Skin is of a highly visible hue

Hit points 4
Psi points 4

Everyman Skills
Climb 1
Languages 1
Search 1
Security 1
Sleight of Hand 1
Sneak Attack 1
Stealth 2
Structure 1
Survival 2
Tinker 1

Psi Skills
Psychic Training 1
Ravaging Intellect 1

General Skills
Web of Contacts 1

Psi Talents
Beguile (lvl 1)
Luck (lvl 1)
Mindbolt (lvl 1)
ESP (lvl 2)

Saving Rolls
Charm 7
Looks 5
Toughness 6
Reflexes 7
Logic 8
Power 9
Will 8

Movement 10