Presenter – Jon Barron (An Author on Tabletop Roleplaying Game “MajiMonsters”)
Attendance – Approximately 300 Anime Fans
The Otakon 2016 Panel “Anime and Dice” presented wide coverage of the Tabletop Roleplaying Games that focus on Anime.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PANEL (Synopsis of the Content the Presenter Covered)
Early History of Dungeons & Dragons – Chainmail in 1971 Dungeons & Dragons in 1974 1980s, other companies join the fray, Gary Gygax is run out of TSR (as Jobs was run out of Apple) Today, hundreds of Tabletop Roleplaying Games Systems vie for a niche market
TSR Travails – 1996, TSR creates collectible dice game “Dragon Dice” and then later bankrupts itself on printing the expansions Bankrupted, TSR is sold to Wizards of the Coast (which is fat with cash from the unprecedented success of the genre pioneering trading card game Magic: The Gathering)
History of Modern Dungeons & Dragons Editions – 2000, 3.0 Edition 2003, 3.5 Edition 2008, 4.0 Edition (prompting a schism in the D&D Community) 2014, 5.0 Edition (a healing event in the D&D community)
Anime Based Tabletop Roleplaying Games – Mekton by Michael Pondsmith (R Talisorian), a Roll Over Target Number d10 and add bonuses system that dealt with Gundam Type Mecha (www.mektonzeta.com) Big Eyes, Small Mouth (BESM) by Mark C Mackinnon (Guardians of Order), a Roll Over 2dX (all polyhedrals) system with stats Body, Mind and Soul – Licenses included Sailor Moon, Dominion: Tank Police, Demon City Shinjuku and Tenchi Muyo! Ova by Clay Gardner (Wise Turtle), a Roll Over pool of d6s (add dice that are same) system Legend of the Five Rings by John Wick (of Seventh Sea fame (Alderac), a Roll Over pools of d10 (keep and total some) system – The world of which, Rokugan was brought into D&D canon Valor by Austin Mackenzie (Valorous Games), a single d10 system (combined point buy/level) MajiMonsters by Late Knight Games, a Roll Over 2d6 and 2d8 system (www.majimonsters.com)
Otakon 2016 was my third time attending Otakon, but my first time covering the epic collection of video, dancing, geek-culture, nerd-rallying, cosplaying and gaming that the convention is for Nerdarchy. JOYS FROM THE GENERAL CONVENTION Seeing a spot-on cosplay of Korra Villain Amon Seeing lots...
An Open Letter to Warner Bros
Let me start by saying that on the Dungeons & Dragons 2017 Movie, I am very happy with many of the decisions you (as a company) are making. You are pulling this film together with a solid investment of money, excellent actors, a superb script writer and a skilled director. Thank you for how well you have respected the Dungeons & Dragons brand thus far, taking seriously the task of turning this classic American Game into a movie.
Unfortunately, your script is broken. I know this because you were kind enough to share the basic shape of the script publicly so that the Dungeons & Dragons community can know the direction you are heading. (I am truly thankful for this transparency.) Having read what Script Write David Leslie Johnson has planned I can tell there is one major problem with the movie.
You are focusing on the fantasy world of Dungeons & Dragons. You are focusing on the races and classes of the Dungeons & Dragons game. The one part that you are clearly not focusing on in the the script is the players. The Dungeons & Dragons Game does not have the best fantasy worlds. There are many better fantasy worlds written in novels, presented in movies and on television (in both animated and live-action variety) as well as in video games. The Dungeons and Dragons fantasy worlds are not even remotely the best fantasy worlds available to reader, viewers or video game players. However, the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy worlds are unique in that they are not the singular vision of one writer. They are not even the collected vision of a team of writers (as would be the case with a movie or television show). What the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy worlds are are shared fantasy worlds created by the Dungeon Master and then deeply affected by the players. None of that is currently in the script. It needs to be.
This Table Ready D&D 5E non-player character is ready to drop into your next D&D 5E game, whether you are a Dungeon Master or Player.
Shulgwarn Harl – Hill Dwarf Fighter (Soldier Infantry)
STAT BLOCK –
AC 18 (chainmail and shield) HP 74 (7d10 Hit Die) PROFICIENCY +3 SPEED 25 ft.
ALIGNMENT Lawful Good
LANGUAGES Common, Dwarvish
Str 20 (+5) Dex 12 (+1) Con 16 (+3) Int 10 (+0) Wis 13 (+1) Cha 8 (–1)
ATTACKS Melee: Battleaxe (+8 to hit; 1d8 + 5 slashing) * Melee or Ranged: Light hammer (range 20 ft./60 ft.; +8 to hit; 1d6 + 5 bludgeoning)
SKILLS Athletics, Intimidation, Perception, Survival
EQUIPMENT Chain mail, shield, battleaxe, light hammers (4), Dungeoneer’s Pack, Cobbler’s tools, 4, Healer’s kit, belt pouch (4), potion of healing, whetstone, 12 gp
RACIAL TRAITS Darkvision, Dwarven Resilience, Dwarven Toughness, Stonecunning
CLASS FEATURES Action Surge, Extra Attack
PERSONALITY – Known for his cheerfulness, Shulgwarn is always ready to bolster the spirits of those around him
IDEALS – Shulgwarn believes that aiding those in need is a duty of those who have been blessed with the ability to do so.
BONDS – Shulgwarn is a noble member of the Fi-Iron Clasp Clan. One of four brothers and three sisters, Shulgwarn takes great pride in the service and loyalty his family gives to their clan. He is now in the sixth year of a 20 year mission assigned by the Fi-Iron Clasp Clan Leader Ignabar Blueshelm. Ignabar sent Shulgwarn out to adventure and learn more of the areas and cultures far from their cherished hill home and to bring his knowledge and experience back to the Fi-Iron Clasp Clan.
This Table Ready Cypher System Rules non-player character is ready to drop into your next Cypher System Rules Shadowrun Game, whether you are a Gamemaster or Player.
Character Name – Dredge Hammer
Shadowrun Race and Class – Troll Adept
Cypher System Character Elements – Descriptor (Perceptive) Type (Warrior) Focus (Masters Weaponry Axe) and (Stands Like a Bastion)
TIER – 2
EFFORT – 2
Might – 18 = 10+4+4
Speed – 10 = 10+0
Intellect – 12 = 8+2+2
Might – 2 = 1+1
Speed – 1 = 1+0
Intellect – 0 = 0+0
MELEE WEAPON AND ATTACK
Nerdarchy was fortunate to cross paths with the Black Tribbles at Balticon 50 where they graced a Nerdarchy Staff Writer with an interview (which you can read here). The Black Tribbles are a multimedia team who serve up commentary and coverage on Nerd Culture. Some of their members and associates include Len Webb (aka Bat-Tribble), Kennedy Allen (Storm-Tribble), Randy Green (Super-Tribble), Erik Darden (Master-Tribble), Jason Richardson and Isaiah Luck.
Recently Black Tribble’s Len reached out to Nerdarchy and asked for Nerdarchy to help their organization with an upcoming event. Len asked the Nerdarchy Crew to help them put on a live Tabletop Roleplaying Game for the Philadelphia Podcast Festival that is coming up in August 2016. The Nerdarchists (Ted, Ryan and Dave) said “Yes” right away (because they are eager to broaden the reach and test the limits of Tabletop Roleplaying Games).
The Black Tribbles requests for this Tabletop Roleplaying Game were significant. They asked that the Tabletop Roleplaying Game –
- Be A One-Shot
- Be a Gladiatorial Combat
- Include 8 characters from the Star Wars Universe
- Include 8 characters from the Star Trek Universe
- Fit into 60 minutes
None of this daunted the Nerdarchists. Nerdarchist Dave right away determined the best way to logically set up a battle between Star Wars and Star Trek characters. Q would pull all of the characters together.
A New Dungeons & Dragons Movie – A Two Year Plan of Action for Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Masters, Players and Designers
It is happening. A shiny, new hope, a chance for our hobby, our joy to be shown in thousands of theaters across the US and the World. The die of cinema is being rolled again for Dungeons and Dragons!
Yeah, yeah, yeah. You are not impressed because you have heard all this before. Rumors have bounced around for years (16 to be exact) that a new Dungeons and Dragons movie would surface. Well, this is for realsies. How for realsies you ask?
- Studio – Warner Bros (The Matrix, The Dark Knight, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone)
- Writer – David Leslie Johnson – (Wrath of the Titans, The Conjuring 2)
- Director – Rob Letterman (Goosebumps)
- Star – Ansel Elgort – (Divergent Series, The Fault in Our Stars), Shortlisted to play Young Han Solo in the Han Solo Prequel Films
For realsies! Awesome. Truly awesome. I sing a song of rejoicing with Angels (Deva, Planetar and Solar). Okay. Fanboy glee acknowledged. Let’s get down to business. The new movie prompts one primary questions. What should be the response of the D&D Community (Dungeon Masters, Players and Designers (Pro and Amateur)) to the upcoming theatrical release film?
Before that question is answered through there are three minor questions that must be addressed. Will the new movie be good? What do we call the new movie? Who are the winners and who are the losers?
Will the new movie be good?
We have to start with this question since the 2000 Dungeons & Dragons movie was a commercial failure ($34M box office on a $45M budget), and a critical failure (10% on Rotten Tomatoes). So why be excited about the new movie? The primary reason is that Warner Brothers, Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast are now fully aware of the stakes. A successful film franchise can be worth billions of dollars from the box office alone. With the rise of the international film market there is far more money in play for this Dungeons & Dragons movie than there was in 2000 when the first theatrical release occurred. Additionally, Wizards of the Coast is a much more mature company with a better idea of how to handle its valuable intellectual property.
Erik Tenkar (of Tenkar’s Tavern) and Louis Porter Jr both recently shared their opinions on Free RPG Day. While many people are happy that the event exists and that free adventures are made available to Tabletop Roleplaying Game gamers, it is starting to become evident that the goal of the day is not being achieved. The original goal of the day was to open the Tabletop Roleplaying Games hobby to new players, what Free RPG Day has arguably become is a “thank you” to existing Tabletop Roleplaying Game players.
Erik’s article on the subject was a lament of the situation and a call out to the Tenkar’s Tavern community for fix ideas. It prompted me to think about what would actually grow our hobby through Free RPG Day. Here are the three steps that I think would lead to Free RPG Day actually achieving the goal it was made to achieve – bringing in new Tabletop Roleplaying Game players.
- Step 1 – Build a new Free Tabletop Roleplaying Games that will be given to new players digitally one month prior to Free RPG Day. This is important because if the name of the event is Free RPG Day, then a Free RPG should actually be delivered for people on or before that day. One of the sharp edges of Free RPG Day has been going to the Friendly Local Gaming Store and seeing what is put out on the table and by and large seeing a lot of Free RPG Adventures, not Free RPGs. This Free Tabletop Roleplaying Game that will be provided to new players should meet the following criteria; 50 to 150 pages, full color every page, great art + great rules + great design + great writing.
- Step 2 – Ensure that the new Free Tabletop Roleplaying Game that is given to new players is actually accessible to new players. This means that the new Free Tabletop Roleplaying Game needs to be built around delivering a campaign for players that is three, five or seven sessions maximum. No more than seven sessions. Each of those sessions that the new Free Tabletop Roleplaying Game is built to play should be designed from the gate to be 90 to 120 minutes long. What I am saying is the new Free Tabletop Roleplaying Game must kill the old habits of most Tabletop Roleplaying Games – Habit 1 = Campaigns run for an unspecified number of sessions and Habit 2 = Each session is 4 to 6 hours long. Campaigns that run for an unspecified number of sessions with sessions that are 4 to 6 hours long is what is killing our hobby. Really think about what introducing a new player to Tabletop Roleplaying Games really means. It means saying, “Hey, would you like to play a game with me that you will commit to now, that has no specified ending and every time we do play that game it will take 4 to 6 hours to do it”. That is a HUGE ask, understandably scary to new players. Few other hobbies ask this much of participants. Is is it any wonder our hobby struggles to bring in new players? These old habits of our hobby need to die or our hobby will die.
- Step 3 – Existing players should latch onto the the new Free Tabletop Roleplaying Game that is given to new players one month prior to Free RPG Day and be prepared to start a three session campaign with 2 to 4 new players, with the first session being on Free RPG Day. These sessions should happen in 1) a Friendly Local Game Store or 2) existing players’ homes or 3) community centers or 4) church gymnasiums or 5) online Google Hangouts or 6) local libraries or 7) any other free public space that a two hour, 5 person table activity will fit. The existing players will then need to ensure that they have a space for the remaining two session in the story arc. (This is because one shots are inherently bad examples of what happens in an actual Tabletop Roleplaying Games campaign.)
This is the Player Character I am playing a newly launched local FFG Star Wars Campaign called “A Broken Peace”. You can read the Adventure Log for the first session here.
XP: (Start 90 Human + 150 Campaign) \ Session 1 – 15 (Spent 15 on Lightsaber 3) + 25 Unspent
Race: Human \ Career: Jedi Consular \ 1st Specialization: Niman Disciple
Height: 6’0” \ Skin: Light \ Gender: Male \ Weight: 190 lbs \ Hair: Bald \ Age: 35 \ Eyes: Blue \ Notable Features: Scar across right cheek
Strain 13 = 10 + 2 Willpower + 1 Grit \ Current 12
Wounds 10 = 10 + 2 Brawn
Soak (w/o armor): 0
Soak (w/ armor): 1
Melee Defense: 0
Ranged Defense: 0
Nerdarchy Staff Writer Scott Garibay was on site at Balticon 50 to capture the Nerd Culture Events that only a unique convention like Balticon can generate. The Black Tribbles were kind enough to sit down with Scott for an interview. The Black Tribbles is a unique...
FFG Star Wars Campaign – A Peace Broken
Adventure Log – Session One
Game – Fantasy Flight Games Stars Wars Tabletop Roleplaying Game (using all three Core Rulebooks, Edge of the Empire, Age or Rebellion and Force and Destiny)
Game Attributes – All players physically gathered around a large wooden table at the home of the Gamemaster. The Gamemaster supplied an extensive collection of Star Wars 34mm Scale Miniatures (from the Wizards of the Coast game produced between 2004 and 2010) to simulate combat encounters.
Setting – Star Wars: The Old Republic, the time of the Star Wars Old Republic video games, events which occurred 300 years after Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and more than 3,600 years before the events in Star Wars Episode IV “A New Hope”.
On Wednesday, April 25, 2012 Monte Cook 1) ended his employment with Wizards of the Coast, 2)
removed himself from the supervision of the Dungeons & Dragons Lead Developer Mike Mearls and 3) halted his participation as a contributing member of the Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition Game Design Team. This is collectively now referred to as the Cook Cleave.
The Cook Cleave prompts a number of questions, listed below.
- What did Mike Mearls do to keep Monte Cook from leaving the Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition Game Design Team (everything he could or nothing)?
- Did Monte Cook have any allies on the Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition Game Design Team before he left and if so, who were they?
On Wednesday, April 25, 2012 Monte Cook –
- Ended his employment with Wizards of the Coast
- Removed himself from the supervision of the Dungeons & Dragons Lead Developer Mike Mearls
- Halted his participation as a contributing member of the Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition Game Design Team
In this article, I am declaring the Monte Cook centered Event that occurred on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 to be the “Cook Cleave”. The reasons I am applying this appellation to this Event are 1) because this is the day that Monte Cook “cleaved” himself from Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition and 2) because it will be needed in the decades and centuries to come as this Event is studied as the second most important Event in the history of Tabletop Roleplaying Games.
The first most important Event in the history of Tabletop Roleplaying Games is the publication of the 1974 Dungeons & Dragon Boxed Set. This Event cemented Gary Gygax as the Founding Father of the Tabletop Roleplaying Game industry (a purely American creation that birthed dozens of companies and has funded thousands of jobs through its 42 years of existence).
Core Rulebook – Dragon Age RPG
Release – 2015 (Fall)
Company – Green Ronin Publishing
Key Author – Chris Pramas
|Setting IMMERSION (PROSE)||7||10|
|Setting IMMERSION (ART)||9||10|
I have graciously been invited by Nerdarchy to begin reviewing Tabletop Roleplaying Games on the Nerdarchy Website. I take Tabletop Roleplaying Games seriously as I believe they are 1) the most premium form of entertainment available to any literate person and 2) entities which impact significantly the Tabletop Roleplaying Game Industry, Tabletop Roleplaying Game Collecting, Running and Playing Community as well as the culture of America, Japan, Germany, France and Great Britain.
Believing that, reviewing a Tabletop Roleplaying Game becomes a task that cannot be undertaken lightly. Each Tabletop Roleplaying Game is the product of a team of designers, writers, artists, editors and play-testers and it is not right for me or anyone else to declare a Tabletop Roleplaying Game to be sound and valuable or poor and a waste of time without proceeding carefully. I have carefully considered what is needed to fairly review a Tabletop Roleplaying Game and this is the structure I will be using here on the Nerdarchy website going forward.
Note this structure is designed specifically to review a Tabletop Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook (rather than a sourcebook, which would require a modified structure).