Confessions of a game master

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This new edition of an old book has surprisingly many “modern” gaming concepts in it. And it is the grandfather of all BRP/d100 gaming. Respect.

As much as I like D&D and OSR-style d20-based gaming, my real RPG love is, and has always been the BRP/d100 family of games.

They are easy to grasp and have simple and consistent rules for most situations. There are also variants that will let you play high fantasy, dark fantasy, horror, modern, sci-fi – basically whatever you want.

What I like the most is that the characters, even if they’re veterans, are fragile. If you’re outnumbered or if you’re surprised in the wrong situation, you’re going to get hurt. And there are no potions of healing anywhere to be found (at least not in my games). This automatically leads to another style of play from the characters – more cautious, more thinking and planning before doing reckless stuff. There are no artificial levels, just different levels of expertise that you learn the hard way. And combat is deadly. One misstep or lucky critical hit will kill even a veteran character.

That said, doing D&D-style subterranean dungeon romps with d100 rules is nearly impossible. The PCs will surely perish before they even reach level 2 of the dungeon. As a GM, this naturally encourages me to play other types of adventures if we play d100-based games. And players that insist on solving problems the D&D way will die. Quickly.

Having been away from GM:ing d100 gaming for over a year and coming back, I realize (again) that d100 games have about all that I want from an RPG. Also, the cross-compatibility of these games lets me take a Call of Cthulhu monster and chuck it into my OpenQuest or RuneQuest game with almost no hassle.

I think I’m going to stay in the d100 field a bit longer this time around, as we always seem to get dragged back to D&D by some unseen force…

If you’re interested, here’s a link to the recap of our latest Call of Cthulhu game session

Some first thoughts on 7th ed Call of Cthulhu

As I now own CoC 7e I jotted down some initial thoughts after having browsed through the books…

Sanity Zer∅

b645e7dee73030289a8f323604d64028 What’s behind the door…?

Yesterday I was checking out Chaosium’s site for some info on the fate of the BRP rule set when I happened to notice that the kickstarter slipcase edition of CoC 7e is actually available directly from them.

I have been planning to get the core books and the screen from my trusty FLGS, but some quick math convinced me that the slipcase set was actually easilly the best value. In that kit, you get the Keeper’s and Investigator’s hardbacks as well as the Keeper’s screen, all enclosed in a pretty slipcase. Furthermore, Chaosium adds all the PDFs for those products as a bonus, further adding to the value.

As Chaosium has an EU shipping point in the UK, the shipping was ok and consequently I don’t have to pay import tax either.

So I ordered the set as a birthday gift to myself as I will get…

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Some thoughts on the new Delta Green and CoC 7e

Ruminations on the new editions of Call of Cthulhu and Delta Green

Sanity Zer∅

ie5 Investigating…

After lunch today, I had some time over and decided to pay a visit to my favourite FLGS in town. They recently moved to new expanded premises and I wanted to check out the new store. And wow. There they were – the new shiny editions of my long time favourites Call of Cthulhu and Delta Green.

I have only seen these books in pictures, so it was nice to feel them physically and browse the contents. Very colorful, very shiny and very heavy full color hardcover books. Top quality, and very desirable. Sadly, they didn’t have the 7e Keeper book for CoC, but they did have the screens for both games.

Standing there in the shop, I almost whipped up my card to buy it all, despite having promised myself to buy fewer games and play more of the ones I have instead. The joy of finding such…

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D-day tomorrow…

From my Call of Cthulhu blog

Sanity Zer∅

nyarlathotep_by_corwin_cross-d5gv67e Nyarlahotep by Corwin Cross

D-day.

Tomorrow we launch our foray into Masks of Nyarlahotep.

I’ve been wanting to play this campaign since I first heard of it some 25 years ago, but never had the chance. Then, in 2010, I got hold of the Complete MoN limited edition hardcover and now it is time to let the players loose in New York.

Six players will pit their bodies and minds against a god and try to save the world.

Wish me good luck. I’m not nearly as prepped as I should be, as work and life has been extra intense the last few weeks, but I will run it anyway.

And as usual, session reports will be found in our With a fistful of d20’s blog

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Short GM & publishing report

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Nice pic!

I have kept away from blogging about RPGs and even Google+ for a while now.

The combination of long gaming hiatus due to vacations and then an intra-player conflict as we were preparing to start up the fall season of gaming has left me a wee bit tired of it all.

Add to that an extremely pressed work situation with lots of extra hours and mental energy poured into work related things… Well, let us just say that it does not get you into a mega-creative game groove.

However, I haven’t given up, and I’m still around🙂

Two weekends ago we finished “Season 1” of our year-long Blood & Treasure game in the Lost Lands by Frog God Games. It has been a very good OSR/D&D-style experience and I will write a separate post on running OSR with B&T later, when I get the time and my spirits are up more. Some of the players have said that this is the most fun D&D-style game they have ever played.

And next weekend we will start with a character generation session for Masks of Nyarlahotep! I will use the 6th ed Call of Cthulhu rules for this one. If there is enough time after chargen I will throw them right into the action as well, starting their descent into mayhem and madness in the wintery New York cityscape of 1925.

Most of the Call of Cthulhu stuff will end up on my dedicated CoC blog (Sanity Zer∅) since I figured many of you OSR/D&D fellows might not be that interested in CoC or d100 gaming.

On the Lazy Sod Press publishing front there has sadly been little progress. I have two OSR style adventures brewing:

  • Fiery the Angel Fell is a quite long Terra Innominata (my home brew setting) fantasy horror ride to madness and destruction. I was initially planning this for Fantastic Heroes & Witchery, but will instead publish it for Blood & Treasure and D&D 5e. Maybe there will be a Swords & Wizardry edition as well. This one is half done. Just some more writing, cleaning up of the maps and then layout. I’m also waiting for a piece of illustration that I’ve paid for but never seem to receive…
  • Tomb of the War-Pig is a shorter dungeon romp adventure, also set in Terra Innominata. It pits the players against the horrors of an ancient sorcerer’s tomb and… Well, no more spoilers here… Let’s just say there will be surprises. Nasty ones. This one will be published for Labyrinth Lord and Swords & Wizardry. Maps and some writing is done. Art is to be commissioned.
  • I’m also contemplating doing a free OSR Conversion book. Basically a short and simple little book with conversion advice between the various OSR games. That way I don’t have to do OSR-game specific versions of my publications, unless they differ a lot.

If I could just find that precious time along with the energy to do it… As it is now, the little time I have to spare goes to my own game prep and to play games online. And that’s the main thing, right?