22 May

FRG Goes 4e

This week marks my trial run with 4e. Starting Friday, I’ll be running the Keep on the Shadowfell preview adventure from Wizards of the Coast. I don’t look to this adventure to be the be-all and end-all of the 4e trial or to be as story-oriented as I prefer. I do hope, however, that it gives me (and my players) a good enough feel for the rules system to see if we can use the new rules for a good, story-oriented game. Read More

07 May

Plot Devices, Plot Opportunities, Published Adventures, and FRG

I admit that I use a lot of published adventures in my campaigns partly because I’m lazy, partly because some of them are pretty good but mostly because my brain is wired that way. I have a strong tendency to see how things can (even if they shouldn’t) fit together. I often use bits and pieces of different published adventures and tie them into a campaign to further an ongoing story or to introduce a potential new direction. One of the major problems of doing this, however, is that most published adventures rely upon plot devices rather than plot opportunities to advance the story and plot.
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05 May

The Three Laws of Emergent Story Motion

As part of character creation for a FRG campaign, I asked one of the players some clarifying questions about his character’s background because I had story ideas starting in my head and didn’t want to go off in a direction he hadn’t intended. His response was interesting, “Do what you do and I will react accordingly,” and it really struck me as being both blatantly obvious and surprising elusive. What it really says is, “Act and I’ll react,” which seems to me to be exactly what it means to play in a roleplaying game, especially one that is story oriented. It is, in fact, the key to an emergent story and got me thinking of how to discuss this idea. With apologies to Newton and my tongue firmly planted in my cheek, here are daHeadRat’s Three Laws of Emergent Story Motion.
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03 May

Ptolus Campaign

I’ve posted the campaign journal from the FRG Ptolus campaign which ran from November 2006 until November 2007. After the first few entries, each player took turns writing the entries. Each player brought their own unique take on things. You can find the journal on the Old Campaigns page.

Fair warning…although much of the following adventures were significantly changed there could still be significant spoilers contained in the journal. If you are playing in, plan on playing in, or simply don’t want to know about any of the following adventures, you probably shouldn’t read this journal:
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02 May

What is a role-playing game?

Well that certainly is a pretentious title, eh? I don’t really mean for it to be pretentious and, in fact, I’m not all that interested in defining role-playing games. What I’m going to do is take the standard definition (aka Wikipedia’s) and highlight its various components and stress the elements that I prefer in a game.

A role-playing game is a game in which the participants assume the roles of fictional characters and collaboratively create or follow stories. Participants determine the actions of their characters based on their characterization, and the actions succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines. Within the rules, players can improvise freely; their choices shape the direction and outcome of the games.

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01 May

Company H Campaign Calendar

I’ve put up a link on the Old Campaigns page to the campaign calendar from the Company H campaign. This campaign was something of a combination of Red Hand of Doom and Temple of Elemental Evil and took place in a modified Greyhawk (Verbobonc to be specific). The campaign calendar was pretty much written by myself and Rachel. She would take notes during the game, send them to me later, and I’d add/edit to put it together. I’ll post a little bit about the PCs later.