As promised last week, I’ll be taking a closer look at the myriad online roleplaying game programs that I enjoy to offer some reviews and analysis as well as any tips or pitfalls therein. The criteria for me as a gamer, fan, audience member and for the purposes of this series are the entertainment value and the takeaways I can bring back to my own game group.
Most of these shows (okay, all of them on my initial list) are Dungeons & Dragons games. In keeping with that spirit, I’ll rate where each program has a Success or Failure along with where it scores a Critical Hit or a Critical Fail, and wrap up with a Perception Check for miscellaneous observations and standouts as a viewer.
There is no disputing that tabletop role-playing games, and Dungeons & Dragons in particular, are more popular than ever before. While still a niche hobby, that niche has grown considerably large, and the perception of it has shifted as well.
The moment when I realized how great a step forward the role-playing game hobby has taken occurred not too long ago. My gaming group musters at a coffee shop, hauling our books, dice, pencils and accouterments to a private room in the back. From 4-10 p.m., our group of middle-aged nerds leave jobs, families and other responsibilities aside to step into a fantastical world of make-believe. During one of our gatherings, I went to get a cup of coffee and the teen-aged girl barista asked me if I was with the group in the back, and if we were playing Dungeons & Dragons. I said yep, I’m the Dungeon Master.
“Super cool,” she said.
Recently, I began down the road to fixing the two largest obstacles to drawing new players to Dungeons and Dragons 5E. Specifically, I stated the reason why it is important for the Monster Manual to be available to every player during every moment of every D&D 5E game. Last week’s article specifically addressed the following obstacle –
- D&D 5E New Player Obstacle 2 – The Game rewards system mastery greatly and punishes casual play brutally.
This week I continue down the road of fixing the two largest obstacles to drawing new players to D&D 5E by addressing the following obstacle –
- D&D 5E New Player Obstacle 1 – The Game takes far too long to play (typically four hours).
Quickly, the world has massively changed since the ’80s and ’90s heyday of D&D, and the normal run time of four hours per play session is severely damaging the game’s ability to attract new players. This problem will exacerbate every year until it is fixed.
One of the huge problems I see most often, both in players and Dungeon Masters, is naming things. Everything else comes easily, you’ve got a character or an idea and it all comes flooding out, and then you’re left staring at this blank space on the page labeled “name.”
So, I’m going to share some of what works for me when it comes to naming things, and hopefully it will find its way to the hands of someone for whom it will be useful.
These are my 10 Commandments of Tabletop RPGs. Some of these are based on personal experience, where others are based on observation. I won’t always indicate which is which, but I feel confident in my assessment.
When first being introduced to DnD you will find a variety of classes that are presented before you and at first what draws attention to you might be something that suits your sexual orientation, masculine or feminine if you will. Most women might be more drawn...
So I had total plan to move on to Vampire and maybe some other stuff too but some thing in my life popped up that have inspired me to write for both my own benefit and yours. You see dear Nerdarchy reader, at the gamer table conflicts can arise from a variety of sources and as such there is a need for the tools to combat the evil known as inter party conflict. Well here is a few things I have learned, and a few things to look out for. I sincerely hope this comes to your aid.
When it becomes Player versus Player…
Sometimes you can have arguments at the table between players on how to interpret a rule. Maybe one learned an earlier version, maybe the rule was written vaguely. Whatever the reason, you can find yourself at the table arguing over the way imaginary heroes swing a sword or vault a horse. Seriously, I have seen it happen for stupider reasons than these but rules are the most common thing to argue about between players. Anyway, no matter the cause, the fact is it is a game. Calm down, and listen to the other side of the argument.No matter how ridiculous they are in your opinion, they deserve the same treatment you would desire.
When both sides are done, I suggest reading the rules as written and checking to see if there is any errata on the rule in question. Very often that can answer the question right then and there as we are only human and thus fallible. I will admit that there has been times I thought a rule read one way but I ended up being very off. What I am getting at is, be ready and willing to admit you are wrong. It happens, to everyone at one time or another. Finally, there is a certain someone who is at the table that has the job of mitigating and arbitrating these situations.
Recently I’ve run across two situations as a Dungeon Master which I believe are worth sharing with a wider audience. First, one of my players came to me concerned he had not played his character’s personality correctly during a recent Dungeons & Dragons gaming session....
If you’re like me, by now you’re familiar with playing tabletop role-playing games online. Gamers have been playing Dungeons & Dragons and other RPGs online since the birth of the Internet, though the last few years has seen significant growth in this area. This is...
Arrows are flying. Swords are swinging. Blasters are blasting. And suddenly your character goes down in a fight because of what you perceive to be a stupid ruling from the game master.
Your blood boils and your temperature begins to rise. What you want to do is curse and yell at the game master, informing him or her just how much of an idiot they really are. Or maybe you want to break into the middle of the game and argue about how the game master’s ruling was bad or unfair.
Hello fellow Nerdarchists, Hope to see you all having awesome game sessions! In this article I wanted to address the common problem that a lot of game masters have trying to keep their players engaged by using the elements that are at the core of the RPG and that is… Mystery!
I have been recently tasked with running a large group of new gamers and teaching them the game of the newer Dungeons & Dragons 5e. So, with more players added I found it hard to keep each player involved on a personal level as well as how to keep the game sessions intriguing. I wanted to share with you a few tricks I learned about how to use Mystery as a tool to keep everyone happy and having a good time. On a side note, I usually don’t feel comfortable running a game for more than five players so with seven players it has become a bit of a challenge. So let’s get started…
First, I in general character backgrounds are normally a great way to engage players, but when you have seven people at the table it can become a bit overwhelming. Luckily for me my custom game world “Dark Myth” had a built-in way for me to deal with this being a Time Line. The time line in a game setting can be an easy way for players and DMs alike to quickly and easily come up with back stories to link things together. Also it can leave quite a bit of room for mystery such as “Why, did the war start in the first place?” or “Who is the spy” and many more. Questions like these can lead to a whole plethora of time-line related mysteries to keep gamers on the edge of their seats!
Hello fellow Nerdarchests, I hope to find you all having a great time. I wanted to address an issue some [caption id="" align="alignright" width="350" class="zemanta-img"] The Werewolf of Fever Swamp (TV special) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption] of us might have and that is trying to run multiple games...
Yes I lied last week when I said I was finished . Sorry about that. But we received a bunch of comments and requests to do this for Matthew Mercers Blood Hunter class. Last week we did do the last class in the Players handbook, the Wizard.
So today we are breaking off from the official, PHB classes, and focusing on the awesome class made by Matthew Mercer. I am sure that most of you know this legendary name in table top RPGs. If you do not know who he is feel free to search it out.
The Blood Hunter was created and off of the Witch hunter played by Vin Diesel so how many names can we jam into one article? Now Nerdarchy played a game play testing this class and its three archetypes. You can check out that video here.
If you are unfamiliar with the class there is a pay what you want copy at the DMs Guild here. The Blood Hunter goes further than heroes to defeat the evil, they become that which they fight. The class comes with a stigma and there is some role playing built into the class, but of course you can play it as you see fit.
And with this we have a wrap. Last week I covered the warlock with the Player tips adding more class to your class. Today I finish the series with the last class in the players handbook: the Wizard.
Wizards come in all shapes and sizes. They wield the power to change the world. You will find many great heroes across the worlds of D&D that are wizards but you can probably find just as many if not more so as Villains. You see because they get to have all that power it takes a strong moral character to wield it properly.
So beyond the idea of power what is a wizard. A wizard is one who possesses a mind capable of memorizing many facts and symbols. They have spent hours and hours studying strange things that make normal people bored or sick. Some of their simple spells might not be too hard to memorize but as a Wizard unlocks new levels or power or spells those spells could be pages and pages worth of material that they need to commit to memory.
Well my friends you have made it to successfully to another Friday. It is time for some more player tips, Adding more class to your class and this time I am going to tackle, arguably the crowd favorite class, Warlock. Last week we talked on the Sorcerer, and you can read about it here.
The warlock has the ability to do things all because a Faustian bargain made with a ‘dark’ power. Well that is stretching it a little. There is nothing that says it has to be a dark power and in fact with the Unearthed Arcana the pact of Light warlock looks like it is designed for good guys.
The sorcerer is born with power and the warlock makes bargain to get it so in that they are the same that they do not have a lot of time spent in there back story where they are trapped in some kind of training mode. So because of this they too have a lot of time free to enter a lot of story into it.