Podcast Episode 41 – Am I too old for the World of Darkness?

In this podcast episode, myself, Hannah and Lloyd discuss whether we’re too old for the World of Darkness, the vampire genre in general and some of the positive and negative sides of Storyteller games.

You can find the uncut version on Twitch:

Watch Podcast Live & Uncut: Am I too old for the World of Darkness? from RedDiceDiaries on www.twitch.tv

You can also find the edited version here on Anchor:

Music on Podcast Title

Shinigami by XTaKeRuX:
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/XTaKeRuX/Empty_Grave/Shinigami

Used under creative commons licence:
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Podcast Episode 40 – Over-production in RPGs

The edited version of our recent podcast recording “Over-production in RPGs” is now available on Anchor, I’m joined by Johannes Paavola, Mathew Bryan, Andre Martinez and Dennis Bach.

Music on Podcast Title

Shinigami by XTaKeRuX:
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/XTaKeRuX/Empty_Grave/Shinigami

Used under creative commons licence:
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Podcast Episodes 31 & 32 – Johannes Paavola double-feature

I’m away for the weekend LARPing so–as a treat–I thought that I’d release a couple of episodes simultaneously, I’m lucky enough to be joined in these episodes by Johannes Paavola to talk about V20, the WOD, OSR, Stars Without Number and other such stuff.


Episode 31 – JP & John talk V20 and WOD

In this first episode of our JP double-feature, we discuss Johanne’s excellent V20 Sabbat game, the old WOD, how it’s aged and a few initial thoughts on the new version of vampire, V5.


Here is a link to the website Utility Muffin Labs that Johannes mentions in the podcast.


Episode 32 – JP & John talk OSR and Stars Without Number

In the second episode of our double-feature we chat about OSR games in general and go all fan-boy about Kevin Crawford’s stuff.


Here are some links related to the discussion in Episode 32:


Many thanks to Johannes for joining us for these two episodes, we hope that you enjoy listening to them as much as we did filming them 🙂

All about Aspects: Vampires and a common frame of reference

Little-vampire.svgI recently put up an All About Aspects post concerning representing monstrous nature as an aspect where I suggested that monsters could (in part) be represented using aspects, invokes and compels. Markus suggested in the comments section that there are lots of different types of monsters and that, to make it work, the GM and players would need a common frame of reference.

This is a very good point, and it doesn’t just apply for monsters, Continue reading

All About Aspects: Monstrous Nature as an aspect

Monstrous Nature as an Aspect

There are a number of famous tabletop RPGs where playing a monster struggling with their humanity is a central focus, as a variant of character race (discussed previously), this could (in part) be handled using the high concept aspect.

We’ve explained the basic formatting for our high concept aspects in one of our previous post, in this post I provide a single descriptions table (that can be used instead of the ones in previous articles) to add an alignment descriptor.

Continue reading

[RPG] Quick & dirty Accelerated vampire rules – 2nd edition

I’ve got a friend coming to stay with myself and my wife Hannah for a week soon, Dave was one of the players in my short original test game for the quick & dirty vampire rules so it’ll be interesting to see what he makes of the revised version.
These rules are based heavily on the super powered stunt rules, you can find them here in the excellent Fate SRD website.
Essentially the way the super-powered stunts will work is that players will purchase a stunt that allows them to automatically succeed at a certain task unless they are opposed by another person with an applicable stunt; if this happens then effectively whoever is willing to bid the most fate points triumphs.
As an additional wrinkle the successful use of a vampire stunt will give the GM (or the players if it is an NPC vampire) a free compel to use (ie. the compel does not award the person a fate point if accepted), that must be used to throw up some weakness of vampiric nature.
For example: If the player uses their potence vampire stunt to smash through a door, in the next scene the GM may use the free compel to suggest that the character is hungry due to the expenditure of vampiric force and that there just happens to be someone ripe for the taking in the scene.
A player can still choose to ignore this compel by paying a fate point as normal.
Please note: In the previous iteration of these rules, red fate chips were used to represent special uses of blood; in this version of the rules they are not strictly required, although using red fate chips in general looks cool for a vampire themed game 🙂

Vampire Stunts

These are the current vampire stunts that I have in mind:
  • Animalism – Automatically succeed at checks to calm/communicate intent to animals and tests to ride or guide animals.
  • Auspex – Automatically notice anything out of the ordinary or sense the presence of the supernatural, allows a player to ask questions about the recent past of a scene or object and have them answered truthfully.
  • Celerity – Automatically escape from a scene or act first in a test of speed.
  • Fortitude – Automatically ignore damage taken in a single turn.
  • Obfuscate – Automatically hide themselves from scrutiny even if standing in plain sight or automatically conceal an object no larger than themselves.
  • Potence – Automatically smash an inanimate object or take a foe out of action.
  • Presence – Automatically succeed on social and persuasion challenge.
I’m sure those who are familiar with the World of Darkness will recognise that my stunts are very influenced by the list of disciplines available in the WoD, this is no coincidence, i’m most familiar with those abilities and think they give a good gamut of powers for a prospective vampire game, I may expand the list of vampire stunts once I have tested them out a bit more.

[RPG] So how did my quick & dirty fate vampire rules work?

Incase you’ve not seen my quick and dirty Fate Accelerated rules for vampires you can find them here: http://reddicediaries.com.gridhosted.co.uk/uncategorized/rpg-quick-dirty-fate-accelerated-rules/
How did the game go?
Unfortunately because of other RL factors we didn’t get to actually finish the session, however the three or four hours that we did do were quite entertaining and everyone (including the couple of less experienced tabletoppers seemed to enjoy themselves).
Generated characters with Fate Accelerated was extremely easy although it took the newcomers a little while to get their heads around Aspects, once they had though the rest didn’t take long at all; to keep things simple whilst also maximising the potential for plot hijinks I told the players that their characters would not be vampires at the start and that they were all on a cruise ship heading to Hawaii, I then asked them to think of reasons they were there. We ended up with a fairly eclectic mix of characters:

  • Aurelia – Cello player with a goth rock band who were on the cruise relaxing and doing some promo work after a big tour.
  • Stevie Steel – Lead vocallist of said rock group, a vain main who traded on looks more than talent and had spent most of the cruise in various dalliances.
  • Katherine – A waitress on the cruise who was later turned into a vampire by a strange fellow she encountered in the café on the night shift.
  • Orsten Thomas – A medical researcher whose outré views and outlandish experiments had lead to unwelcome press attention that he was seeking to flee.
I ran the characters through a fairly simple sequence of events that lead to them being turned and the various complications arising from that; the aim of the game eventually would have been for them to discover that they had all be turned for a reason by the same vampire, however unfortunately we didn’t have time for that.
So how did the rules work?
I threw lots of complications and obstacles at the players (probably more than I would have done normally) both to give them the option to use their vampiric side (and the demonic red fate chips) and to get used to the idea of the fate economy; it seemed to work quite well and none of the players seemed to be overly concerned that they were losing control of their characters by not being able to buy off the effects of the red fate chips.
This lead to all sorts of incidents such as when one of the band roadies witnessed the PCs covered in blood and attempted to flee to summon security, Orsten ran after him determined to stop him reporting the incident by any means necessary (especially given that he’d woke up next to the blood drained corpse of his wife shortly after his first awakening as a vampire); Aurelia, the only vampire who had not yet fed, decided that she couldn’t allow this innocent roadie to be harmed and gave into her vampiric side, tackling Orsten against the wall, I then instantly used the red fate chip garnered to say that she tackled him so hard that the two of them went through a wall into an adjoining cabin.
What would I change?

I think that going forward that rather than having the players usage of their vampiric side give the GM a red fate chip that can be used for an unblockable compel, I would give the players a seperate number of red fate chips in addition to their normal ones (based on the strength of their vampiric blood) and say that they can be spent as normal fate chips for double the benefit, however, when they are a player must feed in the following scene or some other vampiric complication will occur.
I definitely think that the rules worked fine for a quick pick-up game, having a group of new tabletoppers with only one that has any experience of the Fate system we were able to get up and running in around 5 minutes (inc. character generation) and were soon enjoying a fun vampire game, don’t get me wrong it wasn’t the most serious nor angst filled vampire game ever and was a bit more tongue in cheek, but compared to some other horror/vampire systems it was certainly a lot more accessible and captured some of the essentials of vampire settings. I think that if I was going to run it for a campaign then I would seek to refine the rules a little, perhaps characters having stunts to determine what they can spend their red fate chips on our to expand their utility?
(picture is use for non-profit use only, no challenge to copyright intended, you can find this picture and more at http://thewondrous.com/40-disturbing-celebrity-vampires/)