VR: Peasant Competency Levels

One of the unfortunate things about filming video responses for my Youtube channel is that I tend to do them in an off-the-cuff manner, this is great for getting an unscripted and spontaneous feel to the video, however it does mean that on occasions I tend to forget things and only think about them after I’ve just spent an hour or so editing the video.

The same thing happened recently when I filmed a video response to the following video OSR Gatekeepers: I do not fear death by Your Humble Gamesmaster:

I filmed what I believed to be a fairly comprehensive response to the video in question, you can see my video here:

It was only after the upload had finished that I thought ‘Oh sh*t I forgot to mention the bit about peasant power levels in the video’ – now I’m not going to go back and record the whole thing again to cram that part in so I thought that I’d write a brief blog about it here instead.

The Humble Gamesmaster makes the point that peasants or commoners are often seen as being particularly weak in OSR style games, particularly when in funnel play or in comparison to characters who actually have levels in a more normal PC class (fighter, thief, mage, etc); this is a very valid point, I do have a few issues with it though. After thinking about it for some time, I realised that my main issue was based on an assumptions that I’d made about D&D and OSR style games:

  • Adventurers spend a lot of their “off-screen” time practicing their skills.

I’d always imagined that the fighter spent a lot of their off-screen time practicing combat whilst the thief was out engaging in nefarious activities, the mage was obsessively studying spells and the bard was playing their lute or whatever it is that they do when they’re not annoying the rest of the party and trying to grab some abilities from pretty much every other class.

The Humble Gamesmaster makes the point that peasants or commoners in a standard pseudo-medieval D&D world wouldn’t be weak, they would lead hard lives working the land, I certainly think that’s true, however, I’ve always seen the difference between commoners and PC classed characters in D&D as being akin to the difference between a fitness fanatic and a trained soldier in real life, sure the fitness fanatic might be fit and in reasonably good health, however they don’t exist in the constant state of readiness that the soldier does, knowing that s/he could be shipped out at any moment to face danger and death.

So let me know what you think, are commoners weak in your world or do they have some untapped wellspring of inner strength?

RPGaDay 2017

For those of us involved in a certain sub-section of the online TT RPGing community, the approach of August can only mean one thing, it’s almost time for RPGaDay – that special time of year when numerous roleplayers dredge through their memories and strive to create a series of blog and video posts talking about their current participation in the roleplaying hobby and their history with it. This year is the fourth year that RPGaDay has been running since Autocratik began it and–as usual–Runeslinger is flying the flag and getting the info-graphics out there, I’ve reproduced it below for convenience:

RPGaDay is a great way to reminisce about your RPG history and also to engage with other members of the community, we’re all talking about the same great hobby so–as well as making your own blog posts or videos–make sure to comment and get involved with other people’s, don’t forget to use the hashtag #RPGaDay. Even if you don’t manage to do a post a day, or whether you cheat and film/write several at once (like I do if I am really busy), that’s not important, what’s great about RPGaDay is that is gets everyone in the community involved and talking about this great hobby of ours.

I’ll be taking part this year and I urge you to do so as well 🙂 

Dresden Files Accelerated – The Motor City Files

I recently had the good fortune to be invited to play in a short mini-campaign of Dresden Files Accelerated ran by John Drury of Roll For Your Fate; in case you’re not aware, Dresden Files Accelerated Edition (referred to henceforth as DFAE in this article) is the second game in Jim Butchers Dresdenverse– you can find more info on that here–the first used an early iteration of the Fate Core system and was great fun but was a little clunky in places IMO. DFAE uses the streamlined Accelerated build of the system and has obviously benefited greatly from lessons learned since the original was released.

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RPG Bugbears – Dilemmas

In this RPG bugbears video I talk a little about a recent dilemma I’ve been musing on.

Video Tutorial – Creating a Discord/Roll20 screen using Xsplit

In this video tutorial–requested by Caius Wallen–I show how you can use Xsplit to create a Discord/Roll20 screen for recording or streaming TT RPG sessions online. This tutorial assumes you have basic knowledge of Discord, Xsplit and Roll20.

In order you use this tutorial you will need a Discord account, a copy of Xsplit (the free one is fine) and a Roll20 account with a game already set up.

The URL for the Discord Streamkit is: https://streamkit.discordapp.com/overlay

RPG Rambles: For RP what do you go back to as sources of inspiration?

In this RPG Rambles video I ask what films, books, etc you go back to time and again as inspiration for your roleplaying sessions and campaigns?

RPG Review: Torment, Tides of Numenera – Explorers Guide

Monte Cook games were kind enough to send me an advanced PDF of their forthcoming Numenera supplement, you can see my review of it by clicking on the link below:

RPG Review: Archetype

In this video I review Archetype an RPG by James Terbrack:

3Brothers – Where we are

There has been a long gap between my last 3Brothers D&D session (due to RL interfering) so I thought it would be handy to create a short video for the players reminding them of where we are and some of the things going on in our homebrew world of Eilean.

3Brothers D&D 5E Campaign Episode 7: Deeper and Down

Making it back to Battlebridge, Avaestar, Watoomb and their new colleague Xan are re-united with Drax and investigate the odd case of a man who appears to have been poisoned by a giant snake; Xan and Drax believe it may be connected to the man who attempted to break into Drax’ room at the Common Sword tavern.