Another week, another podcast, but this week it’s totally different! Not only are Matt and Rob joined in-studio by not just one, but two guests, they actually have something to talk about! Now, we know the listening audience seriously can’t get enough of the regular non-coherent ramblings of the hosts (what is wrong with you people), but this week it’s time to change it up. Listen along as the guys are joined by JiB and Gina of Happy Jacks RPG Podcast fame in a discussion on character advancement in RPGs. You’ll definitely learn something, just not from the regular hosts. Rarely accurate, but mostly timely, it’s time for another episode of Useless Drivel!
I’ve mentioned on the podcast that I’ve been reading through a few RPG systems lately, and I thought now would be a good time to just give a mini review of each. I won’t get into the mechanics of each as that is well beyond my ability to explain and write.
A while back Matt posted about the various characters he created. I thought it might be interesting to put myself out there with a few of my PCs. It might make for an interesting comparison as Matt and I differ in the way we create the character; He creates an entire lineage before we play and I don’t know the first thing about my character’s personality until I sit down at the table.
In Reverse chronological order:
Feln the Halfling Ranger for Pathfinder:
Feln is unique for me due to actually coming up with the concept before I started to work on the stats, which might have led to a weaker PC than I am used to playing. I haven’t had much playtime with Feln yet, but I’ve already started to flesh out his story. Feln is a repo man, whenever someone doesn’t pay back their loan, it is Feln’s job to get the item back preferably in one piece. He’s not the strongest or toughest guy, but he’s charismatic and sneaky, so with his dog Bones and trusty urban ranger skills he can take back the items from your defaulted loan before you can say “Peck”.
Rennik the Glowborn Bounty Hunter for Savage Worlds: Sundered Skies:
Rennik started out as a Goblin that was turned into a 6 foot tall Glowborn. This left him a bit confused, which has become his default emotion. Rennik is a big dumb oaf. He not really good at anything other than punching people, so he decided to become a bounty hunter because “Those people need punching.” The biggest problem Rennik has is that he’s just too dumb to catch anyone. At this point he’s made back maybe 10 cogs out of the 200 it cost him to get his bounty hunters license.
Dolph Van Damme for Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition:
I grew up playing D&D 2nd edition, so I have a deep undying dislike of bards and clerics, so when I was asked to join a 4E game and that I please make a leader character I threw up a little in my mouth. But due to this requirement I was able to create the greatest mandolinist? mandoliner? mandolinie? that ever lived! Dolph has that oh so wonderful trope of amnesia, so when the arty found him, he had no idea what he was doing and his only thought was that the bad guys were stealing his meat (true story). I have since decided that when Dolph gains levels he is actually remembering things from his past rather than learning new skills. Dolph is several hundred years old and has gone through this amnesia bit multiple times.
Alex White for World of Darkness:
Alex is one of those characters I’m disappointed in. He really is just me but better. In terms of an actual character he is lacking in both social and combat skills, but as of lately I think I am finally finding a good voice for him. I’ve started to let the crazy experiences affect him on more than just a surface level. Everything from girl problems to freaks to the inability to drive a car have started to make the character become more than just stats on a page. So while he was one of my weaker creations, I am exited to see where he ends up now.
Now that I have seen GenCon come and go another year without getting even remotely close to Indianapolis to get my game on, there is no lack of buzz on the internet in regards to the keynote address given at the original, largest, and longest running gaming convention the world. Most notably during the address to attendees was the presentation given by Mike Mearls, the lead designer of DnD Next, on what fans of the most well-known tabletop RPG on the market can expect in the very near future. Seeing as I jumped the shark with the roll-out of 4th Edition, I felt it was important to not only fully explain my dislike the current incarnation, but also look to the future in hopes of being brought back into the fold.
So, a few weeks back, I wrote about how the Fantasy genre has served as the gateway to tabletop roleplaying games for many of us who enjoy the game. However, in this day and age of social media, internet inundation, and video game mania, what’s a younger generation of gamer new to the hobby to do in order to truly get a taste of the wonderment that is the realm of pen and paper gaming? Why, start with a Modern Setting of course!
Articles abound these days about the buzz that is DnD Next. From analysis of the core rules to speculations about the future, every play-tester has their opinion and each one is valid in its own right. Yes, I truly believe that. Wizards of the Coast’s modular approach to this iteration of the most popular roleplaying game in history shoots to please as many fans as possible. Wow – that’s a hefty goal, especially in this incredibly heterogeneous hobby of ours. What I don’t want to examine is the current rules or plans for DnD Next; how could I? I don’t have 20+ years of experience in game design, so I won’t tweak or nitpick where my nose doesn’t belong. Rather, I’d like to look into DnD Next only so far as it’s impact on me and then zoom out to provide some insight into how these circumstances might translate to play-test groups across the world.