Category Archives: Fluff/Inspiration

What about the Midgard Campaign Setting? A review…

The new Midgard Campaign Setting by Kobold Press is out, and it is a great book. I can best summarize it this way… If you are a fan of the setting as it has been presented through their excellent line of products, you owe it to yourself to get this book. If you are a fan of old school campaigns reminiscent of the settings of old, you owe it to yourself to get this book. If you like cutting edge campaigns that are inspired by myths, you owe it to yourself to get this book. If you are looking for inspiration for your own campaign and want great rules and inspiration, you owe it to yourself to get this book. Do you get the idea? I really, really, REALLY, like this book.

Wolfgang Baur, the setting creator and lead designer, and the rest of the writing team, Jeff Grubb, Brandon Hodge, Christina Stiles and Dan Voyce (they are the ones with credit on the cover but there are a few more outstanding creators on the credit page, you will not be disappointed) created a great campaign setting. It has the advantage of being familiar to fans of previous books by the publisher, but it is so much more. You are not getting filler material rehashed here; you are getting a broader picture of what you already loved.

I have a confession to make. I have not read the WHOLE book. I received a review copy on PDF and I dove right in. If you have been reading gaming books for a while, like me, you probably read a couple of pages, skim and scan around the book, go to the chapter with the rules or content that most interest you and read the book piecemeal. Slowly getting through it and maybe, eventually, reading it complete. The Midgard Campaing Setting is a 298 pages file, 288 of those are content, with an additional four pages of a thorough index, a necessity in any campaign setting.

So what happened? I read the introduction (yeah I’m one of those…) and I could not stop reading. By the end of that night I had read far too late into the night and I stopped because I had to be at work the next day. I have not been able to put it down since. I am still not completely through it, there are a couple of chapters to go, but this one deserves a read from cover to cover.

Continue reading What about the Midgard Campaign Setting? A review…

#GMwisdom, musings of a Game Master!

This past weekend I began tweeting a couple of reflections on RPG gaming on my Twitter account. I tweeted them with the hashtag #GMwisdom. Mind you these are not all original thoughts, maybe I put them in a different way, but most of these ideas have been gathered after years of gaming, from advice in books, other GMs, and my experiences at the table over the last 25 years. If by some unforeseen reason you’ve been following me on Twitter for a while you might wonder what got me so philosophical. It’s a combination of thinking about games from a research point of view, born out of my research in education for my class work; and some situations in my regular gaming group. What can I say, you never stop growing and learning! A couple of people seemed to like, and agree with some of the ideas, so I thought it would be useful to compile them here in the blog to share with a larger audience and hopefully generate some discussion.

While I branded them with the hashtag #GMwisdom I think of them as general advice on gaming, applicable to both players and GMs. Musing about games in 140 characters can be hard, and it forced me to be succinct with my ideas. To me this is an advantage so the tweets are reproduced in their original length (with a couple of typos corrected, hey it’s not easy typing in a phone with my fingers, and with a little editing to try and make them more gender inclusive). I believe they speak for themselves. Hope you like them… Continue reading #GMwisdom, musings of a Game Master!

Running Games in the Perry Rhodan universe? Possible or not?

Perry Rhodan Perry Rhodan is definitely my favorite SF series. Even though it’s pretty unknown in the US it is the world’s largest SF series. It has been started in the 1960s by two German authors in the form of dime novels which were (and still are) published weekly. Today a whole team of authors works on the series. This Friday Perry Rhodan #2664 will be released. The series spawned several spin-off series (like ATLAN, Perry Rhodan Action, Perry Rhodan NEO), one crappy movie, several computer games, board games and two roleplaying games. Alas both roleplaying games were not what most roleplaying Perry Rhodan fans have been hoping for.

The Perry Rhodan universe is huge, complex, but could also be a great place for roleplaying adventures. So it’s no surprise I tried to run a RPG campaign based on my favorite SF series for many years now. Alas this is much easier said than done. We already established that the two official Perry Rhodan RPGs (both are out-of-print now), are not really that great. So I am looking for other systems I could use. I have thought about using Open D6 or Savage Worlds, since I have experience with both systems and both systems are quite versatile. But they might not be versatile enough for the Perryverse.

One of the main issues the series always had was that during it earlier years each author tried to outmatch his colleagues with descriptions of exotic aliens, bigger spaceships, and more deadly weapons. Over the years several attempts have been made to “nerf” things, but a few extremes still exist.

Continue reading Running Games in the Perry Rhodan universe? Possible or not?