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Roll for initiative.

The Only Fantasy World Map You'll Ever Need.
posted by fings on Mar 19, 2014 - 100 comments

 

You don’t understand fun. Not really.

You don’t sit down to write a game and “add fun” or “make fun.” You make things. You design encounters. You plan plot points. You build NPCs. And you also put together and run campaigns. You hope that somehow, out of the campaigns and the decisions and encounters and plot points and NPCs, fun is a thing that will happen. But you don’t actually try to quantify fun. You don’t think about why fun things are fun. Until today.
In The Eight Kinds of Fun The Angry DM explores the nature of fun in tabletop roleplaying games, guided by scholarly research on the subject.
posted by Skorgu on Jan 28, 2014 - 43 comments

The Fateful Games of Victor Gijsbers

Stalin's Story, by Victor Gijsbers, is a game combining Vladimir Propp's folktale archetypes with totalitarian manipulation. One player assumes the role of Stalin, and with it the power to dictate the rules and order executions; other players are either actors trying to beguile him with a traditional rustic tale or courtiers trying to twist the tale's elements to their rivals' discredit. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Nov 6, 2013 - 13 comments

The original golden age of fantasy role playing games.

Old School FRP is a tumblr blog with a ton of illustrations and art from the golden age of Dungeons and Dragons and games that were totally not Dungeons and Dragons.
posted by Pope Guilty on Aug 31, 2013 - 33 comments

I believe in you.

Collect feathers. Observe quiet beauty. Act with bravery. [PDF] Brave Sparrow is either a roleplaying game, a cult, or a life philosophy. Or maybe all of those, or none. [more inside]
posted by Scattercat on Aug 21, 2013 - 51 comments

What Kind of D&D Character Would You Be?

"This [129 question] survey will determine your ability scores, fantasy race, class, alignment, and character level describing what you would be if you were transformed into a Dungeons and Dragons character."
posted by jedicus on Aug 13, 2013 - 303 comments

A Theme Park Adventure with Mud Baths, Saunas, and a Kayak Ride

Jason Thompson (previously on Metafilter), an Eisner nominee who writes about manga and draws comics based on H.P. Lovecraft stories, has created wonderful cartoon maps of some classic Dungeons and Dragons modules. [more inside]
posted by magstheaxe on Jun 5, 2013 - 11 comments

The Core of FATE

The Fantastic Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment (FATE) system has produced notable games ranging from the pulp themed Spirit of the Century, to the hard science fiction Diaspora, to the adaptation of the urban fantasy series Dresdin Files, and the high fantasy Legends of Anglierre. However, there's never been a basic, official version of the 3rd. edition core system. Until now. [more inside]
posted by happyroach on Jan 29, 2013 - 18 comments

The sky above the port was the color of Metafilter

Back in 2000, R. Talsorian Games released on their website a series of overviews of what they considered to be classic Cyberpunk movies, along with notes on incorporating their characters and ideas into games. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty on Jan 17, 2013 - 111 comments

This ain't your daddy's TSR (but his name's on the cover)

Luke Gygax and E. Gary Gygax Jr, sons of Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax have announced they have formed TSR Games. The company's first, brave, foray into the market will be a print publication: Gygax Magazine with a very familiar logo. Apparently D&D owner Wizards of the Coast (and its owners, Hasbro) the last trademarked “TSR” for a game company in 2003, opening the door for the Brothers Gygax to scoop up the name for their company Hexagonist Publishing LLC on May 25, 2011. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Dec 4, 2012 - 76 comments

I'm a Dungeon Master! I deserve this promotion!

Can playing Dungeons & Dragons make you a more confident and successful person? The PBS Idea Channel posits that playing pen-and-paper role-playing games helps to develop valuable life skills such as problem solving, people management, and abstract thinking.
posted by asnider on Oct 16, 2012 - 77 comments

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff, a podcast in which writer and game designer Robin D. Laws (Hamlet's Hitpoints, The GUMSHOE system) and game designer and writer Kenneth Hite (Tour De Lovecraft, GURPS Horror) (previously) talk about stuff. Stuffs include: Why vampires are assholes and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, stopping WWI and Beasts of the Southern Wild, Margaret Atwood and the difference between a mystic and an occultist, why no invented setting is as interesting as the real world and Woodrow Wilson, Gencon and sundry RPGs, Neil Armstrong, HP Blavatsky and theosophy, the ebook prcing settlement, what big publishing could learn from RPG publishers, and the many crazy fictional possibilities of Charles Lindbergh and his UFO investigating chums, and Dungeons and Dragons edition wars and Aliester Crowley.
posted by Artw on Sep 30, 2012 - 30 comments

Pony Gaming Roundup

Shards of Equestria is a set of 270 fan-made Magic: The Gathering cards based off of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (made by MeFi's own XQUZYPHYR, via Projects)
Savage Worlds of My Little Pony (PDF version recommended, requires Savage Worlds game system books) is a roleplaying game based on the show, using Pinnacle Games' Savage Worlds system. Notable for its tenent against violence, which punishes characters who pursue violent solutions to problems.
MLP: Roleplaying is Magic (PDF) is another roleplaying game using a custom system.
MLP: Clash of Realities is a miniatures combat game played on computer. Game system plugin for Lackeyccg. Setup instructions
MLP: Fighting is Magic is a slick-looking, upcoming fan-made fighting game. Demo videos: Applejack test, general demonstration, Fluttershy is not OP
Ponykart is an upcoming, fan-made Mario Kart-style driving game. Demo video.
My Little Investigations is an upcoming, fan-made Phoenix Wright-style investigation adventure game. Playable demo.
Cutie Mark Crusade is also a work in progress, and a more traditional adventure game. Playable demo. Demo video.
[more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 16, 2012 - 41 comments

In 129 the Dwarves made war against the Ogre

How to Host a Dungeon is a solitaire pen-and-paper game in which you create an underground complex of rooms, populate them with various fantasy races and monsters, and simulate its history. At almost any time you can stop and have the basis for a D&D campaign. Here's a YouTube playthrough of a game: Part 1 - Part 2 [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 4, 2012 - 53 comments

Dallas: The Television Role-Playing Game

I catch a lot of flak over my description of the years 1974 to 1983 as the Golden Age of roleplaying games, much of it based on a misunderstanding of my original point, namely that, after this period, tabletop RPGs would never again command the same degree of broad cultural significance that they did during this time. A good illustration of my point is this odd product, from wargames publisher SPI: Dallas: The Television Role-Playing Game. Published in 1980, the same year as the company's more well known foray into roleplaying, DragonQuest, Dallas was designed by none other than James F. Dunnigan, famous as (among many things) the designer of the classic wargames Jutland and PanzerBlitz. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Feb 29, 2012 - 26 comments

Fake War Stories

Fake War Stories "Whenever a group of gamers get together, there's always a period of swapping crazy gaming stories. Role-playing (tabletop or LARP), war gaming, FPS--everyone has a funny story to tell. We've already gotten a number of pretty funny ones." [via mefi projects]
posted by Blasdelb on Feb 26, 2012 - 72 comments

Save vs nostalgia.

Mountain Dew, Gamma World - and cake! GeekDad's Ethan Gilsdorf uncovers a long-lost pile of loot - silent Super 8 footage of a 1981 Friday night D&D session. JJ Abrams couldn't have faked it this good. (SLYT-sorta)
posted by obiwanwasabi on Feb 3, 2012 - 35 comments

The Tome of Awesome

If you enjoy playing Dungeons & Dragons or similar fantasy RPGs, or if you just like reading in-depth analysis of fictional worlds, then the Tome of Awesome [pdf] is for you. [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Jan 12, 2012 - 50 comments

How to find an RPG

You've finally gotten over your geek self-loathing, and you've decided to jump back into playing tabletop, pen-and-paper RPGs. But where to begin? [more inside]
posted by jiawen on Jan 10, 2012 - 51 comments

Live action promo video for Shadowrun from 1990

The cyberpunk/magic roleplaying game Shadowrun was launched in 1990 with the help of this live-action promo video. Previously.
posted by bq on Jul 1, 2011 - 92 comments

Over 2.7 million nations served.

NationStates is a free political simulation game founded by author Max Barry back in 2002 (previously). Loosely based on his dystopian corporate thriller Jennifer Government, the game starts by asking players to provide some national trappings and answer a few civics questions, then generates a virtual country with a matching political outlook. Periodic policy decisions like mining rights and compulsory voting allow players to further modify their country along axes of social, political, and economic freedom, arriving at one of twenty-seven colorful government types like Tyranny By Majority or Scandinavian Liberal Paradise. There's also a healthy roleplaying community -- players can discuss current events in the General forum, practice wargaming in International Incidents, form cooperative Regions to debate internal affairs (many of which form their own communities), and elect Delegates to send to the World Assembly (so renamed after an amusing cease-and-desist from the real-world U.N.). Their collective history is thoroughly recorded in the 35,000-article NSWiki, which provides a detailed legislative record, gameplay guide, and profiles on many of the 90,000 active nations, 8,000 player regions, and countless characters that currently make up the game world.
posted by Rhaomi on May 9, 2011 - 62 comments

What if you could live your life over again?

You are in a warm, dark, comfortable place. This has been your place since you became aware that you are alive. It's almost time to enter a different world now. In 1986, Activision published a roleplaying computer game called Alter Ego. Unlike the action and fantasy titles that ruled the day, this game simulated the course of a single ordinary life. Beginning at birth, players navigated a series of vignettes: learning to crawl, reacting to strangers, getting a first haircut. The outcome of each scenario subtly influenced one's path, and with every choice players slowly progressed through infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Graphically minimalist -- one's lifestream is represented by simple icons, and the scenarios are all text -- the game was nevertheless engaging, describing the world in a playful, good-natured tone tinged by darkness and melancholy. And it had quite a pedigree; developer and psychology PhD Peter Favaro interviewed hundreds of people on their most memorable life experiences to generate the game's 1,200 pages of material. Unfortunately for Dr. Favaro, the game didn't sell very well. But it lives on through the web -- PlayAlterEgo.com offers a full copy of the game free to play in your browser, and the same port is available as a $5 app for iPhone and Android. More: Port discussion group - Wishlist - Vintage review - Original game manual (text or scans)
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 31, 2010 - 46 comments

The industry isn't dying, it's just going 2.0

Tabletop roleplaying has always had a long history of self publishing. The internet has certainly made it easy for people to share their games for free, though admittedly presentation is improving. Beyond the free models, a number of publishers have started coming up with alternative for-profit business models - The Shadow of Yesterday followed the Cory Doctorow model, releasing the whole game for free online, while charging for hardcopies. John Wick's Houses of the Blooded sells very cheap PDFs and full price books. Greg Stolze has led the charge in Ransom Model rpg sales. Following the "Whatever Price You Like" model of World of Goo and other videogames, Bliss Stage & Polaris are doing the same with PDFs. Shock: Human Contact has already pulled in over $7,000 on Kickstarter, before the game has even been published.
posted by yeloson on Nov 23, 2010 - 22 comments

You see a well groomed garden. In the middle, on a small hill, you see a gazebo.

Wanna Play D&D? Nobody to play with? Got a computer? Wanna experience The Temple of Elemental Evil, Castle Amber, The Palace of the Silver Princess, and Danger at Dunwater in your pajamas? Start with Circle of Eight Modpack forThe Temple of Elemental Evil and play the most complete Dungeons and Dragon game ever made. Think 3rd edition is for chumps? Show your true Moxie and revisit the modules of yore with the Classic Adventures Mod for Baldur's Gate II. [more inside]
posted by Lord_Pall on Oct 17, 2010 - 42 comments

" Orcs are mammals and therefore do not spawn."

Got a question about old-school Dungeons and Dragons? Perhaps you should consult this database of questions and answers from Dragon Magazine's "Sage Advice" column.
posted by Pope Guilty on Oct 12, 2010 - 144 comments

Play like it's 1974!

In 1974, a pair of wargame enthusiasts from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin transformed the nascent hobby gaming world by publishing three little brown booklets. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson's Dungeons & Dragons has become an important part of the lives of generations of young gamers. Along the way, D&D went through numerous editions, each with increasingly complex rules. [more inside]
posted by paulg on Jul 13, 2010 - 157 comments

Pass the Grog!

"The impression that Ars Magica requires a Ph.d in medieval history to play was not helped by several supplements for the fourth edition that were in fact written by Ph.d’s in medieval history." Don't let that stop you, though; you can download the fourth edition for free. [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu on Jun 7, 2010 - 19 comments

Do: real armour, don't: real weapons

LARP - what is it? - a comprehensive guide in comicbook form.
posted by Artw on May 30, 2010 - 151 comments

Roll for mutations

old School Science Fiction RPGs: Traveller, Metamorphosis Alpha, Gamma World.
posted by Artw on May 27, 2010 - 99 comments

The virtual dice rolling has got to go.

The Microsoft Surface was the subject of much ridicule. When Gabe and Tycho from Penny Arcade had the chance to sit down with one at Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center, known colloquially as the ETC, they saw potential for the Surface to become an amazing tool for Dungeons and Dragons tabletop gaming. They offered some suggestions to the team, and months later, SurfaceScapes is the result. Video. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Oct 21, 2009 - 45 comments

... Do not look to the horizon of the eye drops.

Pictures from an epic Russian Fallout LARP. English translation via Google.
posted by permafrost on Jul 8, 2009 - 73 comments

Playing pretend for grown-ups

Want to play a swashbuckling pirate, space opera hero, or monster-fighting Victorian dandy? How about a supervillain fighting against alien invaders? Or a mutant snack cake? Welcome to Savage Worlds. [more inside]
posted by MrVisible on Feb 25, 2009 - 56 comments

World Building

Interview with Jon Schindehette, senior art director at Wizards of the Coast for Dungeons and Dragons. See more fantasy art at his blog, ArtOrder.
posted by Artw on Jan 29, 2009 - 24 comments

"just numbers on a piece of paper"

I do not want to spend too much time beating a dead war-horse, but your average D&D game consists of a group of white players acting out how their white characters encounter and destroy orcs and goblins, who are, as a race evil, uncivilized, and dark-skinned. To quote Steve Sumner’s essay again, “Unless played very carefully, Dungeons & Dragons could easily become a proxy race war, with your group filling the shoes of the noble white power crusaders seeking to extinguish any orc war bands or goblin villages they happened across.” I would argue with Sumner’s use of the phrase “could become,” and say that unless played very carefully, D&D usually becomes a proxy race war. Any adventurer knows that if you see an orc, you kill it. You don’t talk to it, you don’t ask what it’s doing there - you kill it, since it’s life is worth less than the treasure it carries and the experience points you’ll get from the kill. If filmed, your average D&D campaign would look something like Birth of a Nation set in Greyhawk.
- Race in Dungeons & Dragons by Chris van Dyke, a powerpoint talk given at Nerd Nite. Via Ta-Nehisi Coates' blog where there's a smart discussion going on about the essay.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 19, 2008 - 195 comments

Braunstein, the world's first role-playing game

Most gamers have never heard of Braunstein. Sad but true. In the hierarchy of self-awareness you’ll find the circle of gamers who know what D&D is (a very, very large circle), then inside of that is the circle of gamers who know what Greyhawk is (large but smaller), and inside that the circle who knows what Blackmoor is (smaller still). And then in the very center, vanishingly small, are the people who’ve heard of Braunstein. Which is a pity, because Braunstein is the granddaddy of them all.
Braunstein: the Roots of Roleplaying Games by Ben Robbins. The first role-playing game was run by soldier David Wesely in 1967, his group including none other than D&D co-creator Dave Arneson. This past GenCon Braunstein was revived! Here's what the players had to say. Handouts from an earlier Braunstein revival. David Wesely's post-game comments. [via Rob McDougall] [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Sep 6, 2008 - 22 comments

Infinite Oregano

If geeks talked about cookbooks the way they talk about RPG books, the results would not be pretty.
posted by Artw on Jun 19, 2008 - 51 comments

Dice!

Looking for something unique to bring to your next gaming session? Star-spawn will cringe in fear when they see you have shown up to battle bearing these long-lost relics of R'lyeh. The dwarves have toiled long in the mines and quarries of Khaz Modan, and even crafted the bones and teeth of great ancient beasts to create deadly weapons for your gaming arsenal. Perhaps most impressive and prized of all these unique equipages is this rare trophy of the cold and frozen north. [more inside]
posted by Demogorgon on Jan 26, 2008 - 34 comments

DM of the Rings

DM of the Rings (comic). The Lord of the Rings if it were a Dungeons and Dragons game. [more inside]
posted by Bugbread on Oct 27, 2007 - 66 comments

"If nobody shoots me, I'll be pretty upset."

The Totally Awesome, Highly Ridiculous World of Scenario Paintball. [previously]
posted by brundlefly on May 23, 2007 - 46 comments

RULE # 1: In the short term, binary logic [soul equation] is far superior (?) than fuzzy logic [cloning equation].

Hybrid: the roleplaying game. A Timecube style "role playing game." via Grand Text Auto
posted by juv3nal on Apr 11, 2007 - 51 comments

Fear of Girls

Fear of Girls... a film about elite tabletop role-players, by Ryan Wood.
posted by crunchland on Jan 29, 2006 - 46 comments

Get back here with my hat!

Cities is a cross between Urban Dead and Kingdom of Loathing.
posted by ChasFile on Jan 16, 2006 - 23 comments

Now entering nerdspace.

A Brief History of Game: A nine-part review of the major highlights in rpg history. Other interesting if generally unrelated pieces on the history of gaming, pen & paper or otherwise: "Where Have All the Demons Gone?", discussing the history of Magic the Gathering; A somewhat flippant piece by GameSpy; and some obligatory RPG theory regarding the historical popularity of various styles of RPG.
posted by voltairemodern on Aug 5, 2005 - 32 comments

Dorkstorm: The Annihilation

Dorkstorm: The Annihilation The ten geekiest hobbies
posted by ColdChef on Feb 8, 2005 - 53 comments

Lord, please make me a werewolf today

This site is dedicated to spreading the Gospel in the werewolf and furry communities. It also gives advice on how to P-shift and explains why he doesn't like role playing games. Quote - "I have Jesus to change me into a dragon and create neat lizard people to assist me in heaven." Words fail me.
posted by pyramid termite on Nov 20, 2004 - 81 comments

Paranoia XP goes gold

Attention Alpha Complex troubleshooters of blue clearance or higher, good news! The open source version of Paranoia has gone gold. Just in time for GenCon. The happiness control officer will be around soon, to check on your compliance. Have a nice day!
posted by milovoo on Aug 6, 2004 - 19 comments

If a Persona's Despair ever reaches (or rises above) 75 , he suffers from a sudden fit of angst...

Byronic Roleplaying?

Lord Vincent Smallpees (R51 D58 O21) wants to seduce Lady Margaret Whateley (R45 D55 O23), the wife of his best friend Alfred Thompson. He choses to tell her he's been loving her for such a long time, that his heart will shatter if she ever refuses to be kind, or something like that. His Actor choses to roll below Vincent's Despair ; he rolls: it's a 11, which is a Success. Cowabunga!

Welcome to Wuthering Heights: The Roleplaying Game. (More here.)
posted by grabbingsand on Oct 2, 2003 - 12 comments

Fashion comes and goes, but art that might have come from the side of a van is forever. The cover artists from Dragon magazine, a staple of my pimply years, all have websites now, from Keith Parkinson to the ghastly Clyde Caldwell to Larry Elmore (who is putting his old Dragon comic, SnarfQuest, online). The grand master of bodacious barbarian babe art, Frank Franzetta, has a site, too. Relive your adolescence through gleaming swords, vanquished dragons, and hyperdefined musculature! (Warning: Not all pictures are work-safe.)
posted by snarkout on May 24, 2002 - 11 comments

Oh my god, i'm so addicted.

Oh my god, i'm so addicted. it's like a chat. but it's like the sims. and it looks swedish. and i can't stop hanging out there. i'm in the room 'shacknews'.
posted by jcterminal on Oct 18, 2001 - 25 comments

Steve Jackson Games

Steve Jackson Games, the makers of such fine pen-and-paper RPGs as Gurps, has been running a blog since 1994. I've been reading it since 1996, and I just now realized: it was the first blog I've ever read. In addition to release information, they also post game industry news, personal stories, and even the Illuminated Site of the Week, all with intimacy and personality we've come to expect from blogs.
posted by tweebiscuit on May 22, 2001 - 11 comments

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