So, UK Games Expo 2019 is over, I had a great time GM-ing for Games on Demand with my wife, Lloyd Gyan and all the other excellent GMs (and of course players), now I’m sliding into that post-Con funk stage of existence. However–one of the side benefits of attending the Con–is that it always fires me up to do a bit of changing and improvement to the way I run games and manage my game related stuff.Continue reading “Red Dice Re-organisation”
In this episode I discuss some ideas for manual prep and note recording methods going forward for my games:
If you’re interested in the idea of Bullet Journalling you can find out more here:
- The main bullet journal website
- Bullet Journal for RPGs tutorial
- Bullet journals for GMs MeWe community
Shinigami by XTaKeRuX:
Used under creative commons licence:
Rules for dealing with black market trading in LOTFP and other OSR games.
Trading and buying equipment is often something that gets glossed over in RPGs, and quite rightly so in my opinion since doing a bit of shopping doesn’t really compare to the heroic (and not so heroic) deeds that PCs engage in during the rest of their adventuring career. I’ve done it myself recently in my own campaign game, the players rocked up to the City of Blymouth to buy some gear and–wanting to get on with the rest of the adventure–I pretty much said “Yeah, if you can see it on the equipment list then you can buy it at city prices.”
It did get me thinking though, one of the things I’d half had in mind for Blymouth (since the high taxes that Duke Salt imposes on the citizens was mentioned in the Midderlands Expanded book) was that there would be a thriving black market economy. But how best to represent this without every shopping trip turning into a mission on it’s own?
I also wanted the black market expedition to have an element of both randomness and player-choice in it. With that in mind I’ve put together the following set of rules for Black-marketeering:
Stages of Black-Marketeering
In order to gain access and trade on the black market the PCs must go through the following stages (each of which is covered in more detail later in the article):
- Locating a black-market vendor.
- Purchasing the item/assessing it’s quality.
Locating a Black Market Vendor
In order to use the black market, the PCs must first make contact with it; if they have already had dealings with a named contact in the current settlement and are on good terms with them then they can do this automatically.
If the PCs do not have a named contact they are on good-terms with then they must make a Charisma check to locate an appropriate vendor, the player-character’s Sleight of Hand score is added to their Charisma for the purposes of this check (to represent familiarity with the underworld).
For example: Michael Childs is a suave thief with a Charisma of 15 and a Sleight of Hand score of 3-in-6; when making his roll to contact the black market he counts as having a Charisma score of 18.
If the player succeeds on the roll then they locate a black market vendor without any problems, if they fail then something has gone wrong; roll 1D6 on the following table to find out what.
|1-2||The PCs are spotted by the watch and are approached by a group of town-guard, if they can't talk their way out of it then the PCs will be fined 1D6x50SP. If they cannot–or refuse–to pay the fine then the guards will attempt to apprehend them and throw them in debtors prison.|
|3-4||The PCs locate a vendor, but he is actually a thug with some of his fellows lurking nearby, as they are discussing purchases a group of footpads attempt to disable and rob the PCs.|
|5-6||The PCs fail to find a black market vendor because they are distracted by another event (roll on the random encounter chart for this area).|
Purchasing the Item/Assessing It’s Quality
If the PCs manage to track down a black-market vendor then they are able to locate the item/s they are seeking to purchase, however such vendors are not like more reputable tradesmen, their wares are a jumble of broken, salvaged and cobbled together items.
When purchasing from a black-market vendor the player may choose to take a discount of 10, 20 or 30 percent from the cost of their purchase. Once they have decided on their discount, roll a 1D6 to determine whether or not the item is 100% functional, the chance of this being the case is listed below.
|Discount Taken||Chance of Something wrong with Item|
Please note: This roll must be made for each item purchased.
If there is something wrong with the item that has been purchased, roll on the table below to determine what exactly is amiss with it and consult the table below:
|1||The first time the item is used it falls to pieces immediately afterwards.||The first time the item is used it falls to pieces immediately afterwards.||The first time the item is used it falls to pieces immediately afterwards.||The first time the item is used it falls to pieces immediately afterwards.|
|2-3||The weapon does only half damage.||The armour provides 1 less AC bonus than it should.||The magic item has only half charges or provides 1 less bonus.||The item is evidence in a crime and is being sought by the authorities.|
|4-5||The weapon does only a quarter damage.||The armour provides 2 less AC bonus than it should.||The magic item has only a quarter the charges or provides 2 less bonus.||The item is sought by a powerful villain who will stop at nothing to recover it.|
|6||The item is cursed (as determined by the GM).||The item is cursed (as determined by the GM).||The item is cursed (as determined by the GM).||The item is cursed (as determined by the GM).|
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.
As anyone who has gamed with me will tell you–when it comes to running RPGs–I like to do my prep, some people can pull off amazing sessions with little to no prep and that’s absolutely grand, more power to them, however, I’m not blessed with a particularly good memory so it buoys up my confidence to know that I have notes prepared concerning what has already occurred in a campaign and what might be about to occur. However, this has left me with something of a dilemna recently when it comes to the prep for my Heart of Darkness Star Wars campaign and my Dungeon World campaign; both campaigns are recorded on my Youtube channel meaning I’ve got the actual play videos that I can refer back to in order to update my notes.
I’m sure those of you who read my blog or keep up with my Youtube channel have noticed that my output has fallen off drastically in the past few weeks, well don’t worry, I’m not abandoning the blog or making RPG related videos or anything like that.
Recently I’ve started up a new job which involves me working later and driving further, as I’ve been trying to learn new systems I’ve also had less spare time in dinner hours, etc to write blog posts. The time that I have been able to spare (when I’m not spending time with my wife) has mostly been taken up with preparing for or running games.
At the moment I have a number of games that I’m involved in:
- Shadow of the Century playtest games that I run every Friday.
My own 3Brothers D&D 5E campaign that runs bi-weekly on Sunday.
- A series of Star Wars one-shots (currently using the FFG rules although I might be trying some using my FAE Hack soon) that normally run on Saturdays.
- Thashif Muran’s Dresden Files campaign that alternates on Sunday’s with my D&D campaign, in which I play Murdoch a detective who has been overtaken by the spirit of the fallen angel Arioch.
- Jenny Green’s Dresden Files campaign on alternate Monday nights where I play Syd, a crotchety aged punk who happens to be a lycanthrope and is determined to fight against the man.
So as you can see a lot of my time is actually taken up with gaming and the other free time that I used to write blog posts/make videos has gradually become trimmed down to almost nothing; I’m confident that once things have settled down a bit that I’ll manage to re-organise my time to begin creating vids and making blog posts again, it might not be the same volume as before though.
I’m also considering using more stuff recorded in audio format, since I can record these when I am driving (I wouldn’t want to record video whilst driving but I can talk without getting massively distracted) or when I have a spare moment. I think the audio format whould also cut down the amount of time I spend messing around with cameras or editing afterwards, I would never have believed how much time (even relatively simple) editing takes up.
So to sum up, I might be quiet for a bit (aside from my actual play vids) whilst things settle down and I re-organise, but I’ve not forgotten you all, once I’ve worked out how best to fit my creative output into my current schedule I will be back.
In my third vlog I rambled about the close of my Jadepunk campaign, Star Wars Tides of Change, LARP and Thashif’s forthcoming Dresden Files game:
Last night I published the first in what I hope will become a series of weekly vlogs, the idea is to make some quick videos (with minimal editing) where I talk about RP stuff that I’ve been up to in the week before.
If anyone has any RP related questions they wish to ask please post them in the comments section of the vlog and I’ll try to answer them in the next video.
As I film more of these I’ll be added them to the playlist page.
As part of my commitment to really focus on my blog/writing and Youtube channel in the New Year I’ve already started making some alterations to the blog and content produced, tweaking our logo and the layout of the blog to make it quicker to load on people’s computers was the start of this and I’m going to continue that positive energy into the New Year and beyond.
Part of that is having a more regular schedule of releasing videos and blog writing, currently I’m planning on the following weekly schedule:
o Monday - Vlog style video (minimal editing) looking at my previous weeks RP based activities, also playing in and promoting TheRogueDM's excellent WFRP campaign that I am playing in. o Tuesday - Blog post. o Wednesday - This is going to be my evening for running any one-shot games that I may have going. o Thursday - Blog post. o Friday - Video release. o Saturday - Day off. o Sunday - Actual play of campaign game running that evening.
Now I realise this is quite a full schedule and there will no doubt be times that I cannot stick to it or RL gets in the way (as it tends to do with such things) but from next week I’m going to start trying to stick to this schedule as much as possible.
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.