Published…finally

•April 27, 2011 • Leave a Comment

There’s a good news I need to share with you.

I finally received free copies of the BRP Monograpg – Blood and Badges.

It’s a collection of nine adventures for the Chaosium Basic Roleplaying system. What distintcts this monograph from the rest is the fact my advenutre is in it – huraaah! 🙂 Without being too modest, I would just like to say it’s good to see my name on some published gaming product. It’s an excellent motiviation to start writing new material.

Enough bragging, let’s see what is inside. (Nota bene: I haven’t read the whole collection so this will not be a proper review, but a teaser insted.)

The nine mentioned advenutres include vareity of genres and plots. There are three western advenutres with different flavors (sphagetti, horror, vanilla), a horror sc-fi adventure set in 1950’s, a cyberpunk adventure set in nearby future, a classic fanatasy adventure, a modern age top-secret supers advenutre, a dystopian steampunk advenutre with nazi zombies and mine medieval horror advenutre.

Chaosium hasn’t put the book in open market yet so I don’t know the final price, but the range of motives and genres of advenutres should suffice to satisfy broad types of gamers and GMs.

I hope to write some more words about the monograph in the upcoming days/weeks. Until than I would like to congratulate other authors and thank Chaosium team for picking my advenuture for publishing.

You know how thay say, you always remember the first kiss. 😀

P.S. good people from Chaosium are holding another advenutre contest. For more information aim your browsers here.

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Zagreb – centre of European RPGing!!!

•April 1, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Of course not – Happy 1st April!!! 🙂

The leitmotif for this post was the last entry for travel-rpg column ”Have dice, will travel”. For those of you not aware of it, The Escapist is hosting Keith ”Eberron” Baker’s interesting column. In his last writing Keith introduced, or at least tried to present, a rpg scene in Zagreb, Croatian capital city.

As the concept of Keith’s travels strongly emphasizes the interaction with the hosts,  his impression of visited countries and the hobby scenes will be influenced by thier comments and actions. I am not familiar with Keith’s  hosts in Zagreb (which adds to general conclusion of Croat rpgers as autistic or sectic) but some of their remarks need to be updated.

For example, although Keith mentioned the role of web as a social tool for gamers, I find it pity he (or his hosts, at the first place) didn’t say anything about Eydis forum or Fantasy Hrvatska, an associated sf & fantasy portal. I think those two places are the best way for gamers interested in finding new players or/and games. Several open gaming initatives were launched there and were successfully implemented. The games editor Exxar is doing hell of a job in making the portal a relevant and updated info place for boardgames and rpgs. For anyone understanding common Balkan language and interested in the subject I suggest checking both links. Also, I assure you this is not a paid ad, nor does it has anything to do with the fact I occasionally write for portal and used to be a rpg moderator! 🙂 Generally speaking, the scene is fragmented on different games and systems (mtg, miniatures, pathfinder, gurps, dark heresy, wfrp, etc.) but I didn’t get the impression that Zagreb gamers don’t want to try or participate in new gaming groups.  From my point of view the main reasons for such fragmentation is the lack of proper rpg club or venue where you can meet, game and talk with other players. Things could improve with the weekly gatherings and presentation that Keith’s hosts started to organize. We’ll see.

On the other hand, the lack of appropriate rpg LFGS in Zagreb didn’t affect the overall playing of games. The fact is, currently in Zagreb you can’t buy anything except 4e. Ok, I admit yesterday I saw a Rogue Trader corebook on sale in the city’s only shop but it was on sale (probably due to bad selling). What wasn’t mentioned in Keith’s article is the  opinion of Croatian rpg gamers about piracy and intellectual property. Here (and in the rest of Balkans) everybody uses torrents and pirate scanned books. I am not going to defend nor attack this fact but I would comment that if there weren’t Pirate Bay, Demonoid or similar services, gamers in Croatia would have so much poorer gaming experience. Also, for the sake of objectivity I have to say I don’t know any Croatian gamer who hasn’t got at least one legal rpg book.

Conclusion is for you to make.

Here is one of Zagreb’s public sculptures I really like that has pure fantasy feeling – Saint Georges kills the Beast:

See you next time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resurrect!

•March 26, 2011 • Leave a Comment

*poof*

Akhm…yes, it’s been a while. (shrugging off the dust from the shoulders)

Well, there’s not much to say in my defence that would sound even nearly acceptable. A quote from a movie, which name I can’t recollect, goes like this: ”Excuses are like assholes, everybody have them”. 100% true.

Anyway, the big news is I moved to a new house to live alone which will enable my old plan to have a proper gamig den come true 🙂  So far (in last two weeks), I managed to play few card games, Munchkin, Magic the Gathering and Uskoci – a Croatian game I will write about in upcoming days), few games of Intrigue (a nice filler game about negotiations, trust and tactics), and some rpgs (WFRP and an excellent discovery A Penny for my Thoughts).

I plan to rebuild the blog again and start writing every week at least once. Hop again soon or subscribe on the RSS feed to be updated.

Currently on my want-to-play top list: Hell for leather.

Starting the new season!

•October 7, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Wow man, my gaming life and blogging aspiration have been on hiatus for too long! Over 3 months from the last blog update  and about 2 months since I rolled some dice. Terrible. The summer usually messes me up like that.

Fortunately, the autumn started and, how the black president Obama and the dark lord Tzeench would say, it’s time for a change!. Tomorrow is Friday gaming night with Warhammer fantasy rpg 2nd edition!

I am starting a Chaos mini campaign placed during the aftermath of Storm of Chaos invasion and located somewhere along the borders of Talabecland, Stirland and Ostermark on the river Aver. The players are lieutenants in the broken and retreating Chaos horde running from the Imperial army’s counter-attack.  So far, the party includes: Norscan doomweaver of Slaanesh, bestigore of Nurgle, Chaos dwarf sorcerer, Tzeench’s bray-shaman, Kurgan chaos warrior and bestigore of Khorne. All of them have some retinue or minions (like ungors, marauders, demonettes, etc…), since I wanted to explore the gritty, military feeling a person experiences while commanding a broken regiments of psychopathic murderers, hehee.

For the combat I will use an adapted version of Swarm mechanics from the Deathwatch rpg and some ideas from a great pdf article ‘Total war’ by unknown author (and I don’t know from where I downloaded it either). I haven’t tested it yet, so expect some info about that in the future.

The characters are made with the rules from the excellent, albeit poorly edited, sourcebook ‘Tome of Corruption’.

Anyway, the idea of the story is to test the players and their characters in a brutal and evil environment where only the strongest will survive. No mercy, no regret. Everything is allowed: slaughter, PKs, stealing, obscene roleplaying and bad jokes. Those who live will tell the story…

I can’t wait.

In the meanwhile, check the Troll in the Corner’s generous DnD contest! I stopped playing DnD but I wouldn’t mind having that Red Box sitting on my shelf.

PS. I forgot the mention the name of the campaign. When translated in English it would be: ”Gone with the winds…of Chaos”. Hehe, awful I know.

Random Loot #2

•June 29, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Here is a discarded excerpt from my adventure submission to Chaosium’s contest that didn’t enter final version.  I didn’t mention bit before, but the name of the adventure is ‘From Pagania with Hate’. It’s a silly pun of James Bond movie featuring and actual historical place – Pagania.

Spalatro, as the citizens call their town in Dalmatian language, grew from the Roman Emperor Diocletian’s palace built 700 years ago on the eastern coast of Mare Adriaticum, in 305 AD. The wise emperor made such an architectural wonder in combining the outer walls of military castrum with interior plans of luxurious villa. The town features strong stone walls, while the inner space used to be filled with blossoming gardens, magnificent buildings and busy workshops. When the building of palace was finished Diocletian resigned his powers. That made him the first Roman Emperor to voluntarily remove himself from the office, as he preferred the fruit growing in his palace gardens from the power of the Imperial throne. He wasn’t solely renowned because of this: Diocletian was notorious for his relentless and brutal persecutions of Christians. He exterminated so many of them that in 9th century Roman Pope Gregory IV decreed 1st of November as All Saints Day, a holy celebration in the memory of all known and unknown fallen martyrs. Century later, Spalatum became a Christian center as a seat of Dalmatian archdiocese. Ironically, Diocletian’s mausoleum, his final resting place, was adapted into cathedral while his bones were thrown out and replaced with the remains of Saint Duyam, town’s patron and martyr from the days of Emperor’s persecutions.

As an additional bonus I offer, another discarded item – religious verse carved in the cave’s wall.  It is written with Glagolithic alphabet, but combines two languages: Dalmatian and Slavic (Croatian). Does anybody remember Salvatore from Umberto Eco’s book ‘The Name of the Rose’, a heretic who talked on the mix of different languages?


Btw. it looks über fantasy, doesn’t it?

Development of Resurrection

•June 26, 2010 • 2 Comments

As mentioned before in one of my previous post I am finishing the book ‘Shared fantasy – Role-Playing games as Social Words’ by sociologist Gary Alan Fine. There is an interesting excerpt about the context which led to the introduction of resurrection spell in DnD. Even more intriguing is that the following quote is credited to the late Dave Arneson, co-author of DnD, so it should be fairly genuine. It goes like this:

“We had one character, in fact the oldest character in the campaign, who at one time hadn’t show up for an evening and it was in the middle of an especially precarious situation. I was still planting my feet as a referee (the term ‘referee’ is used in the book instead of GM – comment by Streebor). I would never allow that to happen now. But I let someone else who was new control his so we could finish up the situation. Well, to make a long story short he got killed. I was a little upset because the gentleman who had caused this character’s death had really bungled it badly. I could never conceive the real player doing it that…When the player found about it, he welt somewhat unfair, he was not going to have my head on a platter on anything, but he was upset. He then had the honor of being one of the first players ever to be raised from the dead and put back together as it were. I made up a little scenario. ‘Well, if you want him brought back to life,…then we’ll make a little quest of it’. ..That was the first time I’d really done it, and so they went off and they did it, and he came back.” (pg. 221)

I don’t know about you but this was totally revealing to me. As in most big social movements, there are lots of things that are later taken for granted but started as a random, ad hoc, initiative. I can only imagine how would DnD develop if the guy whose character perished actually had come to that session and played it.

Frankly, I’m not a fan of resurrection. The whole concept sounds a bit lame and too much Christian for a generic fantasy game. I prefer much more solutions like Fate points from WFRP (or similar bennies from other RPGs), where you can use them to save your character from certain death. In that way a stroke of fate saved you and not some greedy cleric, which sounds much more believable to me. But, unlike resurrection, the Fate points are limited in number and once without them if you bite the axe it’s time to roll a new character.

Amen.

News from the Forest’s Edge

•May 16, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been busy lately…

But that’s good as it keeps flowing my brain juices 🙂

So where to start? Let’s go from the earliest events of this week.

The last Saturday’s playtesting of my contest adventure was interesting albeit a bit hectic. I managed to forget mentioning  an important NPC that party should have met at the beginning of the adventure. Instead, party went strait ahead and eventually ended in an almost Total-Party-Kill as only one character out of five managed to escape confrontation with the Boss.  (I didn’t mention it before, but in my small gaming circle I am rightfully known as a TPK Game Master :D) Anyway, the session as it self was a bit failure, but after it, I had a great brainstorming discussion with players about things they did or didn’t like.  Some better solutions for certain encounters were suggested but that put me in a difficult position to decide  what options to choose: different options affect the story in a way that would demand additional writing and explaining. And that’s something I have to keep under control for at least two reasons: word limit and deadline.  In any case, I gave my self another few days to finish first version and send it to the proofreaders.

This Thursday we played our fourth session of Warhammer fantasy roleplay (second edition). What can I say? We’re back to dark and gritty!!! I  play trollslayer Durak from Barak Varr, a fierce berseker warrior with bad luck in meeting his glorious doom. So far, he managed to slay only one lousy minion, and left others taking fame with: a vampire spawn mutant, a harlequin warlock, an assassin and a demon possessed fox 😀 On the other hand, other characters (a mercenary, a Kislevite kossar, and an outlaw) payed that with serious injuries while some even spent a Faint point or two. It’s great to play wfrp again (you should have seen the glee on mercenary’s player face when we encountered our first mutant), after a dubious experience with last Rogue trader campaign. Unfortunately, our GM is leaving to other town over the summer, so I will take over gming this party, at least until he returns. The bad side of it is that my trollslayer will not have opportunity to properly redeem his shame. 😦

Yesterday I went on a interesting job interview. A big domestic toy distributing company wants to produce it’s own series of fantasy toys for boys from 4 to 9 years old. I contacted them for a story teller position with the task to offer a draft of main storyline, characters and gameplay concept. After an introductory briefing I was given a list with survey results of boys’ preferences about their gaming and free time.  Besides typical interests (pizza, football, cartoons) there are some amusing facts in it: boys have an interest in cards and fantastic creatures (dragons, monster etc.); they like peer competition but they don’t argue with friends as girls do; and they enjoy fixing mechanical stuff they can reassemble. No wonder we have a national issue with gambling addiction when six years old kids want to play cards. Yeah, I know, I’ve been working on my story draft last 24 hours and I already have few moral dilemmas. Sigh. (Read Chatty DM’s interesting blogpost about game marketing for kids.) But nevertheless, this survey shows that kids have a big potential to easily accept the concept of RPGs, something that is not very common in my lousy country.

The biggest problem I face now is the similarities I noticed my story has with some other kids’ products on the market.  And I was totally fucking unaware of such brands!!! It’s not a such surprise, after all, since I am not a part of target group but that doesn’t change the situation I don’t have any original mindblasting material to offer. Crap. Anyway, I will keep posting about it as the situation evolves.

In the meanwhile, if I manage to catch some free time, I’ll read my new book – ‘Shared fantasy’ by Gary Alan Fine, a classic sociological study of RPG subculture. Must read for all dice monkeys.

Btw. I think I’ve been cursed by water elementals!!! Last few weeks every pipe in the house that could get broken or stuck, did. I don’t have any warm water in the house and there was a roof-leaking  in my office this Friday. Weather forecast for next few days  – raining. 😦