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Archive for May, 2012

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Episode Eight: Feedback!

In this episode, we decided to get back to a bunch of you all who wrote in. This is is a selection of the questions we recieved in the month of May. You all sent some really good questions, and I think they engendered quite a good discussion between the two of us!

You should send us email, view our Forums, join our Facebook group, and follow us on Twitter.

Season Two, Episode Eight

Favorite Games of the Week

Eldritch Skies
Ultimate Maze Decks: Crypts

Currently Playing

Remnants wrapped up right after we recorded, but don’t worry, we’ll be discussing it much more in two weeks!

Announcements

We have a support button! Please buy us a beer or three is you are so inclined.

Shoutouts!

Eloy Lasanta, keep on making awesome games! Listeners, make sure you check out Third Eye Games.

Wil, yet another shoutout!

Superfan Joe!

Benjamin! Thanks for all the links!

Thomas! Awesome!

Derek!

Jay! Step up and play a new game, you can convince the other two to play something else.

Ed and Snake!

Hariy Tarantula is the coolest named game store in Toronto.

Music Section

“Roll the Dice, Make my Day [Stick Jones Remix]” (Stick Jones)
“Amphix Feat. Krishan Tanna” (Deep Memories)
“Don’t Be Afraid” (Eddie The Gun)
“GO IN featuring LE1F” (M?RRI$)

Games Mentioned

Wu Xing
Part-Time Gods
Scion
Hunter: The Vigil
Dresden Files RPG
Remnants
Savage Worlds
Vampire: the Requiem
Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition
Castles & Crusades
D&D Next
Fiasco
7th Sea
Shard
Book of Vile Darkness
Ravenloft
Fate
World of Darkness
The Danse Macabre
Dogs in the Vineyard
Ashen Stars
Blue Planet
Pathfinder
InSpectres
Sorcery & Super Science!

May 29, 2012 Uncategorized joewolz
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Joe Reviews: GURPS Social Engineering

I love reading GURPS books, they are always so full of ideas that I cannot help but be inspired. GURPS Social Engineering is no exception. It clocks in at 88 pages, but there is a lot of information packed in there. It’s a surprisingly weighty pdf, but the investiture of time in reading it is well worth it.

Primarily, GURPS Social Engineering is a rules book. It expands greatly on the fairly static rules for rank, social status, and NPC reaction found in the Baic Set. The book does more than simply tweaking these systems: it actually opens them up to a level to be the focus of a campaign. One can have a social campaign using these rules, and have the focus of said campaign be mechanically supported fairly well.

One interesting thing about the way the rules are written is the fact that using these rules to run a campaign would not fundamentally change the GURPS engine, but change the focus of those rules. What I mean is that running a social-only campaign using this book would not allow one to experience social “combat” in the spirit of Fate, but it would allow for social conflict on any scale from high school bickering to a coup d’etat in an inter-stellar empire. The social conflict possible using the rules in GURPS Social Engineering is mostly about influence and nuance…it is not a fundamental change to how GURPS works.

This is a feature, not a bug. As I’ve said before, GURPS is a modular game. You want to take the parts that work to help build the game you want. In many ways it’s a toolkit of sub-systems that allow one to build a campaign framework that works well enough to emulate the genre or style your campaign will take. GURPS Social Engineering makes this eminently more plausible, by adding the rules for a campaign that doesn’t focus on strictly physical conflict.

There are a few areas where GURPS Social Engineering really shines in the rules department. The expanded rules for Rank and Social Status are very in depth, and can build one hell of a catty society. In the first chapter, High School is mentioned as a setting, I can see class conscious “mean girls” being a great Enemy Organization. Similarly, the new reaction tables are awesome. There is a reaction table for a lot of different situations where a group of PCs would want something from NPCs: Hiring, Requesting Aid, Commercial Transactions, and Confrontation with Authority are some examples.

I really like this book, as it examines a lot of social situations in which PCs can interact. I think my favorite section is the one where the author discusses taunting and intimidation. The final chapter of GURPS Social Engineering is about the line where social conflict becomes physical conflict. It’s an extremely well done look at how to provoke violence in NPCs using the rules in GURPS. There is a section on inciting a riot as well as being intimidated and or attacked by one!

The book closes with a small nod to the debate about social rules existing in RPGs at all. There are many who feel that roleplaying should be more than sufficient for all social situations in a game. I happen to agree with this in a game where social interactions or political maneuvering is not part of the game. I like any game I’m playing to support what I’m doing in it mechanically. I don’t want to play a game that works in spite of the system I’m using, and with GURPS Social Engineering , I’m now equipped to run a political game using GURPS. I’m always happy when I can do more things with GURPS.

May 22, 2012 Uncategorized joewolz
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Episode Seven: Conflict Resolution

This episode is about non-combat conflict resolution systems in RPGs. Not every game uses the same kind of mechanic for every conflict. Most games use a separate mechanic for combat, but a unified mechanic for non-combat conflicts. When it comes to conflict of the non-physical variety RPGs tend to be a little lacking in mechanical support, but we discuss some examples of games that change this up.

Be sure to give us episode ideas, feedback, editorial statements, or profound comments be sure to email us, post on our Forums, “like” us on Facebook, or send us a Tweet!

Episode 2-7

Favorite Games of the Week

Children of Wyrms
God King
Enter The Shadowside

Currently Playing

We’re still playing Remnants, and it is going very well.

Announcements

We would like some more ideas for episodes. Please let us know if you want to hear about anything in particular.

Shoutouts!

JAMES! Thanks for the episode idea.

WIL! Thanks for reinforcing the idea.

We both love Law & Order: SVU.

You should watch the He-Man Christmas Special.

Dragon Dice was and apparently still is an awesome game. Joe has a shitload of those dice…

Music Section

“Roll the Dice, Make my Day [Stick Jones Remix]” (Stick Jones)
“Oh Fortune” (Dan Mangan)
“Wanna Let It Go” (Alias)
“Madras” (Chuck Jonkey)

Games Mentioned

Dresden Files RPG
The Shadow of Yesterday
InSpectres
Dogs in the Vineyard
World of Darkness
Bogeyman
Dungeons & Dragons
GUMSHOE
Trail of Cthulhu
Remnants
Sorcery & Super Science!
Dread
The Danse Macabre
Invite Only
Promethean: The Created
Geist: The Sin Eaters
Changeling: The Lost
GURPS 4th Edition
GURPS Social Engineering
Wicked Fantasy: Orks: Children of Pain
Part-Time Gods
Scion

May 15, 2012 Uncategorized joewolz
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Joe Reviews The Genius Guide to the Death Knight

I have heard a lot about the Genius Guides over the last couple of years. Even as someone who does not normally play Pathfinder, I am always on the lookout for stuff I can use in Castles & Crusades. Having heard about the Guides, and having a predilection towards undead things, I picked up The Genius Guide to the Death Knight.

This is a pretty cool book! The PDF I have for it is apparently formatted for easy screen reading, and it looks great on my iPad. The illustrations are very evocative, especially the severed head on page 17!

The book itself is devoted to a new base class, or at least a class that can be used as one, called the Death Knight. It’s a death-aspected anti-Paladin, of which there are two minor variants. The variants are based on alignment, (only Evil or Neutral allowed), and are mostly flavor distinctions. There are all sorts of cool powers available to the Death Knight. My favorite is every few levels the living Death Knight gains immunities usually reserved for the undead! They also have access to spells, which I forgot was normal in Pathfinder.

Speaking of spells, I am totally going to steal some of these for evil necromancers in my D&D-like games. The Grave Summoning spells allow a Death Knight to summon undead creatures from a list. I can think of all sorts of horrible misdirection possibilities with Mask of Life, which hides an undead’s true nature. There’s also a cool spell that allows for the caster to hide in the Low Road, which is a sort of path to the underworld. The same spell allows them to travel the Low Road from corpse to corpse.

The Low Road is a really cool concept, basically a plane of existence in which only the recently dead can go. The soul of the intelligent dead from all over the multiverse funnel through it, and it is completely inaccessible by the living or the dead who inhabit their final reward or punishment.

The Genius Guide to the Death Knight is a really cool little sourcebook that has a ton of neat ideas in it. I really enjoyed reading it, and my players may see a Death Knight or two in my next game!

May 8, 2012 Uncategorized joewolz
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Accio Webhost

No… I am the one who is supposed to stand in the middle, I am making it go.

Nicky please pass the mayo…. well how else are we supposed to grease the tubes? 

JOE! don’t touch that! The DNS gnomes get very angry if you get that out of alignment… 

Well how do I know if we were supped to have 1 sacrifice or two? Just put that old switch on the pike of computer hardware sacrifices…. the internets love the taste of linksys .

Ok… here we go, Nicky those sticks you are holding are very important, they let out new masters know that the proper amount of gold has been deposited in their vault. Joe your candles signify that we would like to partake of the unlimited bandwidth of our new blue masters…

 It has begun….

We are in the process of moving the website to a new host. Mostly you should notice no real changes or ill effects. But if you do please email us at 2gms1mic at gmail.com to let us know what has gone wrong.

Thanks,

R. Dragon