More details on my new campaign


On the weekend my girlfriend worked on the campaign world for our upcoming Shadow, Sword & Spell game. I am actually very happy with the result so far and aside from a proper map I have almost enough material for the next step.

The next step will of course be character creation. When I know what kind of characters my players want to play and more importantly what their goals are, I can put some more work in the world itself. But instead of fleshing out everything, I’ll focus on what I need to run an interesting game suited to my player’s characters and their goals.

I also decide that instead of running a pure sandbox game I will probably use what I call the “Elder Scrolls method”. The Elder Scrolls computer games are basically sandbox games at their heart with a main plotline tacked on. So while you can explore the world at your own pace and set your own goals there’s also a plot to follow. The Elder Scrolls also differs in another aspect from a pure sandbox game. Some events only happen when they are initiated by the player. I will probably use this approach, too, mainly because both my players and I are not too familiar with sandbox gaming and a more plot-based approach may make things easier for us until we are comfortable with this mode of play.

Continue reading More details on my new campaign

What about the Kobold of Winter, aka #20? A review…


“The Winter Kobold is coming!” If those were the words of House Stark, Eddard would have faced a different fate! Because the know Kobolds are powerful, dangerous creatures. Well at least that’s what Wolfgang Baur, the folk of Open Game Design and all the authors and contributors make me think issue after issue. I am a fan of the magazine and they keep pushing the envelope and producing quality content consistently. But let’s leave strange references to A Song of Ice and Fire behind and dive in into the issue at hand!

The theme this issue is archers and its well served. Let’s see, it opens with the Elven Archer, a race specific class for the Pathfinder RPG. It’s an interesting mix of the ranger and the rogue that fits a traditional fantasy niche. The article has some typos (and you all know I’ve got plenty of those, so I shouldn’t be nitpicking), but I found it interesting and it’s a perfect fit for my long running campaign. The notes on adapting the class for other races, cultures, or even weapons make it useful in other contexts. There is also an article on magic arrows, which again provides what in my mind are some archetypical magic arrows. These two articles seem plucked from my adolescent love for RPGs updated for Pathfinder.

What else is there? Read on to find out…

Continue reading What about the Kobold of Winter, aka #20? A review…

Sandbox games: A collection of links


Sandbox When I had the idea of running a sandbox game I did some research first. Especially when you try a new game or a new style of GMing things can go terribly wrong when you’re unprepared. So in order to avoid that I got some help from people who’ve run sandbox games before.

Recently I had a rather lengthy chat with Joshua Macy, who has also written a couple of extremely helpful posts on the subject of sandbox games:

Aside from that I also found a few more recent posts on the topic:

Of course there are probably thousands of posts out there on running sandbox games. Do you know interesting posts that should be added to that list? Or perhaps you have some of your own experiences to share. Feel free to do so in the comments below!

A Roleplaying Games blog