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?

RPG Bugbears – Dilemmas

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

2000 YouTube Subscribers

I’m pleased to announce that a few days ago our YouTube channel passed the 2000 subscriber mark, I’m pleased that people find the videos I put out entertaining and/or useful enough to subscribe and stick with our channel and blog. To mark the occasion I filmed a combination intro/thank you video for the channel. Continue reading

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?

The Rebel Strike Trilogy

We’ve recently wrapped up the Rebel Strike Trilogy, a linked series of three sessions using the FFG Age of Rebellion Star Wars rules set in my Adventures on the Outer Rim version of the Star Wars universe, I’m going to gather all of the material about it in this post.

Cast

  • Kaid-Sen: A dour sharpshooter working for the Rebellion.
  • Inigo Stazzi: A happy go lucky hothead who somehow manages to get the job done.
  • T7-01: A sharp-witted astromech with a talent for penetrating enemy computer systems.

Episode I

The Rebellion has rescued a Quarren known as Sekas Proko from Tattooine, the Quarren has access to experimental stealth technology but will only turn it over if the rebels free his ally Berek Nur from the clutches of the Empire. Kaid, Inigo and T7 board the prison ship Leviathan and attempt to free him.

Intro crawl: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQs1woDHuEM
Commander Sheb Gergran’s briefing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6lu8yUr-I8

Episode II

With the stealth-tech in the hands of the Rebellion it is fitted to the cruiser Constantine and sent out for a test, however, when activated the ship vanishes, it re-appears later in the Draconis sector inside the Imperial blockade around the frozen moon of Ga-Ri V. The fleet intends to distract the Imperials whilst Kaid, T7 and Inigo sneak aboard to investigate.

Intro crawl: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mOwD9MoM5k

After the Strike: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZuu2cYiddk

Episode III

With Inigo away on an important mission, Kaid calls in a favour from a Sullustan contact of his and manages to arrange for some much needed R&R for himself and T7 on the peaceful ocean world of Spira. However an old enemy pursues them there, learning of this Tyber Zann, wishing to clear his debt sends the bounty hunter Remo Williams to aid them.

Intro Crawl: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGle8l9DoX4

I had a great time running this trilogy and was lucky enough to have four excellent players involved in it, there were the usual scheduling problems and such like that tend to plague this sort of game but we stuck with and created a fun story that I certainly enjoyed GM-ing and the players seemed to enjoy getting involved in 🙂

 

RPG Rambles: What three things do you look for in a RP system?

In this video I ask people what three things they look for in a RP system.

RPG Review – The Convocation

Reviewing The Convocation a 5E compatible supplement about Griffon riders written by Matt Click and released by Absolute Tabletop, it is available from Drivethrurpg:

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/173201/The-Convocation

Player Tips: Wear lots of Hats

In my latest Player Tips video I talk about using simple costuming to add something to your character portrayals.

Useful link: British Pathé

The British Pathé youtube channel collects archived footage about particular topics from the days when news reels used to be shown in cinemas, some very interesting stuff and also shows the biases and thoughts of the time when the reels were made, could be very useful to GMs running period games:

https://www.youtube.com/user/britishpathe/

bp

Future layout/theme ideas for website and Youtube Channel

I’ve recently read some very insightful posts on the various online roleplaying communities that I am a member of, some of these have made me give thought to how good a job my own channel and this website do with communicating my aims to the audience, and what those aims actually.

So I sat down and thought about what the aim of this site and my Youtube channel is and I came up with the following:

To provide tips and advice for roleplayings, broadcast games showing that advice in action and highlight games that offer innovative mechanics or assistance to the GM.

Going forward I am going to make that phrase my mission statement and feature very little on my channel and this site that does not somehow help with that; luckily I seem to have been thinking about this on a subconscious level for a while, so a lot of my older stuff actually does this already.

There are also a couple of other things I like to do in the future:

  • Stick to a more regular schedule of releasing videos, at the moment I’m thinking Saturday each week.
  • Film a more vloggy un-edited video each Monday talking about RP stuff I’ve done during the week.
  • More clearly divide the various different shows (GM Tips, RPG Bugbears, etc) that I do.
  • Attempt to edit some of my actual plays to remove dead-air, shorten the videos and make them more watchable so that people can see the mechanics and running of a game in action without having to wade through so much footage.