Puerto Rico Role Players GM Workshop

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I often write about these things after the fact… maybe I should write about them before and more people will find out about it. Food for thought!

This past Sunday Puerto Rico Role Players held its very first GM Workshop. We’ve had some other activities before, Geeknics, miniature painting workshops, model building, but a friend and fellow member suggested we needed to do something to help Game Masters. So new people get excited about running games, newer GMs can learn from others that have been at it for a longer time, and even those that have GMed for some time learn from others. Thus the GM Workshop was born.

We had to reschedule it once (mea culpa!) but we eventually made it to a local burger joint in the Guaynabo area called John Doe’s, had some burgers, some sodas, some beer, and talked about games. About 26 people made it out to the workshop and we had a semi- formal plan with a group of GMs chiming in about topics such as how to put together a group, whether to use pre-packaged settings or creating your own, and even round robin GMing.

We had a nice mix, a younger newer GM, some old farts; I mean experienced GMs, and everything in between. I hope we get more newbies next time; the more GMs there are the more groups get created and the game community keeps growing. And now you know my nefarious plan!

I was amazed at all the good ideas; I shared some of my experiences and was really excited about all the new strategies and tools I heard about. Some I will use in my game tonight! I would like to thank all the friends, old and new, that made it. The group keeps growing, we are at over 350 members already, and I look forward to future activities together. We have more activities planned, the next Geeknic, a possible Christmas dinner, and people have suggested another minis paining activity, maybe even a terrain building seminar. So many games so little time!

I encourage you to try it in your neck of the woods, get together, exchange ideas and help other GMs become better at what they do. I know I certainly will be thanks to all my fellow GMs who participated in the GM workshop.

Agents of Oblivion is now available!

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 AoO cover Let me start with a quote from John Rogers, the creator and executive producer of Leverage:

“You have in your hands a rules set that lets you play anything from “Spellslinging Spy vs. Alien Brain Eater” to “Harry Palmer vs. That Unpleasant Fellow from Bulgaria.” They haven’t glossed over any of the little nuts and bolts you need to play a realistic spy game, if that’s your desire – they’ve just streamlined it to be Fast, Furious, and Fun. That I can use one setting to play both those extremes is impressive as hell.”

These are the words he wrote for the introduction of Sean Preston’s Agents of Oblivion, the latest Savage Worlds campaign from Reality Blurs. The 218-paged book contains everything you need to horror-fueled espionage action using the Savage World rules (you need a copy of the Savage Worlds rules). I am sure many of you have been waiting for this fine book to be released and if you haven’t you don’t know what you’re missing! Trust me, Sean outdid himself with AoO!

By the way, there are a couple of pretty cool bundles available at the Reality Blurs shop right now:

If you don’t own a copy of Realms of Cthulhu yet, I recommend you consider the Sigil Operative or The Director Bundle. An espionage campaign with Mythos elements sounds just to awesome not to try! ^_^

Update: AoO is now available from RPGNow, too!

Free FATE

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Free FATE

Recently I decided to switch to Free FATE for my current FATE games. This has mainly three reasons:

  1. It’s free. We used Starblazer Adventures before, which is an awesome FATE game, but I just can’t expect all my players to get the book.
  2. It’s short. With just 48 pages is much more compact than most other version of FATE. Of course it doesn’t genre-specific rules, but I can easily use what I need from other FATE games.
  3. It’s available in German. One of my players don’t speak English at all, so I had to translate everything for him. Especially when it comes to stunts this can become quite the task.

Some people might say that my first reason is moot, since not every player needs a copy of the rules. That’s of course true, but some players are interested in reading the rules themselves – which I support if possible – but I just couldn’t lend them my book because I needed it to prepare for the next session. And SBA with it’s 600+ pages is not what I would consider “light reading”.

Free FATE deutsch Free FATE is basically the shortest version of FATE I could find that doesn’t oversimplify things. I especially like the way stunts are handled. Instead of listing dozens of individual stunts Free FATE provides you with guidelines for your own stunts.

From what I’ve seen so far the rules presented in Free FATE are 100% compatible to Starblazer Adventures. So the switch from SBA to Free FATE should be pretty painless.

By the way, Free FATE is one of the few games where the German translation is actually better looking than the original one. While R Grant Erswell did a great job collating, modifying and augmenting the FATE rules, he’s layout skills are not up to par. It would be awesome if Kathy Schad, who did the layout for the German translation, would give the English original a facelift as well.

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