Tabletop RPG Podcast and Roleplaying Resources

Category: Musings (Page 1 of 8)

Old-School RPG Store Shelves Informed Game Design

Who remembers racks and shelves like this back in the day? I miss those days, with lots of 30-50 page products. Last 20+ years we’ve optimized for library-style shelves where you need the 250 page book for the spine to stand out, which has changed how we design games. I miss the simpler days.  🙂

Book Rack Picture from Chris Oz Fulton on Facebook

Historical Roleplaying Games

I  noticed an interesting home-brew game called Traveller: 1700 which appeared in Freelance Traveller (Traveller: 1700 link is at the bottom of this page). The notion of using Traveller rules to roleplay in colonial times got me to thinking about what historical eras I’d be interested to play in, so I pinged my game club gamers to see what historical eras most interested them. Here were their responses. I also jotted down some game systems that might work to play in those eras.

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2nd Half 2019 Campaign

I listed a few of the top campaigns I’d like to run someday to the Thursday night crew. Sounds like the tentative plan is for me to fast-track finish the main Redmark campaign (level each session till the end), and then move on to a Traveller campaign, starting with Mason, then transitioning to me.


I rate each of the campaigns below on four points (Sandbox, Recurring NPCs, Campaign Module available, Minis Prep) and give each a score of 1-4, with 4 being the best).

Sandbox City Campaigns

  • 2/4 Redmark City Campaign (D&D) [Sandbox: High, Recurring NPCs: High, Campaign Module: No, Minis Prep: Yes] — Levels 1-8 game set in city-state of Redmark.
  • 3/4 Crimefighters (Fate Core or Icons) [Sandbox: High, Recurring NPCs: High, Campaign Module: No, Minis Prep: No] — Mid-30’s alternate reality Super Noir setting, this time set in NY City.

Space Opera

  • 3/4 Star Wars: Brak Sector Rebels (WEG d6 1e) [Sandbox: Medium, Recurring NPCs: Medium, Campaign Module: Yes, Minis Prep: No]
    — The Brak Sector is a sector of space that serves as a staging area for Imperial Navy missions into the Outer Rim Territories. Rebel forces have made substantial gains in this former mining sector. You play Rebels undertaking missions for the Alliance in this part-Sandbox/part-military-missions campaign.

Hard Sci-Fi Campaigns

  • 4/4 Eris Beta-V (Imperium RPG, Traveller, or Rarescape) [Sandbox: High, Recurring NPCs: High, Campaign Module: Yes, Minis Prep: No]
    — Think Firefly or The Expanse. A team of explorers investigates a magnificent ringed gas giant with its numerous moons. Ancient artifacts of enormous power can be found among the rings and asteroids. Every moon is a unique world to be explored. When the system’s valuable commerce is threatened by unscrupulous agencies, the team must root them out and put themselves at great risk on the icy fringes of interstellar space.
  • 3.5/4 Scientorium (Imperium RPG, Traveller, or Rarescape) [Sandbox: Medium, Recurring NPCs: High, Campaign Module: Yes, Minis Prep: No]
    — Hidden away by sheer distance and forever shrouded from the minds of the curious lies a mammoth artifact from the previous galactic age, the library of Scientorium. Its strange experience chambers offer passage to a million histories on a million worlds, secrets and technologies undreamed of. Now abandoned by all but its automated security systems and enigmatic caretakers, its workings are oddly twisted and jealous, meting out reward and punishment in equal measure. This is a classic science fiction saga, an epic journey across space and time in the vein of Niven or Heinlein!

Fantasy Campaigns

  • 2.5/4 Middle-earth: Eriador Adventures (Adventures in Middle-earth/5e) [Sandbox: Low, Recurring NPCs: Medium, Campaign Module: Yes, Minis Prep: No]
    — While our Saturday group adventures East of the Misty Mountain, to the West in Eriador, other mysteries await. Delve into the ruins of overgrown Fornost, walk amidst the cairns of the Barrow-downs and venture to the lair of the Witch-king of Angmar himself, the ancient city of Carn Dûm — if you have the courage!


Sandbox City Campaigns

  • Mage Cops™ (Rarescape) — Wizard constables tackle crimes-of-the-week in NYC. I do want to run this someday, but want to wait till Rarescape is out of Beta and is stable and robust.
  • Dresden Files (Dresden Files Accelerated or Dresden Files RPG (older Fate edition)) — Original Dresden Files universe characters in a city TBD. (Holding off till I read more of the books).

Pulp / Space Opera

  • John Carter of Mars: Phantom of Mars (Modiphius 2d20 system, simpler than the Star Trek 2d20 system) — Uncover the nefarious conspiracy of the mysterious organization known as the Eidolon as you adventure your way across Barsoom to save the people of the dying planet. Phantoms of Mars will take your heroes on a journey full of pulp-action, intrigue and heroism as they race to uncover the Eidolon conspiracy and see just how far it has spread. (Would be great for theater-of-the-mind and podcast Actual Play, so holding off for now).

Hard Sci-Fi Campaigns

  • Blood & Steel (Imperium RPG, Traveller, or Rarescape) — After investigating a space anomaly, a group of fighter pilots find themselves on a starhopping quest to save humanity. (Think Battlestar Galactica) (Not very sandbox, and not a lot of recurring NPCs)

Fantasy Campaigns

  • World of Redmark: Caress of Steel (D&D 5e) New sandbox D&D campaign based on the 80’s Rush albums ‘Caress of Steel’ and ‘Fly By Night’. (Not on the table for now due to work required to run this)
  • Middle-earth: 4th Age Quest (Adventures in Middle-earth/5e) – Adventure in Middle-Earth a millennium before the Lord of the Rings. “Know this, people of Gondor: were it not for the selfless souls in Arnor who with flashing blades and spilled life-blood fought against the Witch-King and his foul blight in Angmar, our free lands would not have known peace, and our bright cities would long ago have crumbled into forgotten ruins.” (Deferred to after Mirkwood campaign)

Mini-Campaigns (~ 3-6 sessions)

  • The Secrets of Cats (Rarescape or Fate) — You play magic cats secretly working to save the world.
  • Firefly: Civil War (Firefly Cortex Plus or Rarescape RPG) — Epic mini-campaign conclusion to a Firefly campaign Todd, Mason and Stan were running a few years back.
  • Reich America: The Shadow Covenant (Rarescape RPG) — Resistance fighters uncover a terrifying secret about the Final Reich.
  • Solomon Kane (1600’s Fantasy/Horror/Monster-Hunters) — (Rarescape RPG) — Cut a righteous path in a world of evil! You have seen the path to redemption, a road paved in the blood and bones of the evil you must defeat to save the world from its unholy taint. Face that which preys on men’s dreams, their fears, and their very souls. Walk The Path of Kane. Your enemies span the globe, reaching out from every shadowy corner of all four continents. Men, magic, and monsters of the darkest hearts and basest desires threaten the very world you tread. Humanity is lost without the will and steel of good folk like you.
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