Preview: “Chasm” Video Game

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I distinctly remember leaving my apartment one day and running into my neighbor. He looked at my shirt and said, “Wow, you like Castlevania?” Fast-forward a few years, and a few minutes on my computer, and my neighbor gave me an alpha copy of his successful Kickstarter “Metroidvania” homage, Chasm.

The Great Dungeon #1 – Dungeoneers

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The following is part adventure recap, part DM strategy session, and part after action report. I’m approaching this edition of D&D with game design/writing credits and a love for story and indy-game approaches. Ultimately, I want The Great Dungeon series to be informative to the reader, but also provide a method to refine the approach to my own DMing.

Starting from Scratch: The Great Dungeon

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I tried to ask questions about what the group collectively wanted. After listening a bit, and trying to steer the conversation towards what game experience people desired, I scrawled out a grid of game traits and players. Then, I began marking off what people wanted (and didn’t want).

Review: “Shadow of the Winter King”

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Shadow of the Winter King takes place in a world brimming with possibilities as it slowly sputters to its end. The story chronicles a retired assassin and a disgraced knight tied together by past duties and choices. The world’s end is inevitable, and it is that same sad conclusion that permeates the characters as they struggle to stay true to what sliver of them remains in the face of near-certain futility.

Samurai Swan Song: A “Seven Samurai”-Inspired “Fiasco”

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This playset is meant to create a Fiasco inspired by, or at least paying homage to, the classic story of the Seven Samurai. The players depict Samurai protecting a village from a bandit attack, though they may be little better than thieves themselves. A few more supernatural options have been included towards the ‘6’ roles, though they can easily be avoided if the playgroup decides they want to eschew such influences.

Review: “Undercaffeinated and Overexposed: The Tale of a Coffee Shop Princess”

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A mashup of urban fantasy, fairy tale, and chick-lit, the debut novel of Andrew G. Schneider is ambitious, adept, and boldly written.

A Novel Plan

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I have a number of completed novels, but right now one of them stands out to me and my helpful coterie of alpha readers as the most polished and ready for publication. In this article, I discuss my goals, doubts, and options for what to do with my finished novel, Roland’s Legion.

Fifty Shades of “Marvel Heroic Roleplaying”

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Cortex Plus is an imminently hackable system. Having played in a game that began as Pathfinder and switched to MHRP and kept the same setting, I have experience in crafting MHRP to fit unusual circumstances. I have used MHRP as a basis for changing and epic level Pathfinder game into a more story-telling emphasized hack of MHRP. What follows are some of the more interesting applications that developed in my own game.

Epic Changes: Converting from “Pathfinder” to “Marvel Heroic Roleplaying”

As our Pathfinder game progressed through 18 months, 75+ adventures, and nearly 20 levels of play it was increasingly apparent that we had captured lightning in a bottle. Despite the pressures of adulthood, careers, significant others and children in some ways our play group of nearly two decades had just started to hit its stride. Thanks to our DM, the world was teeming with possibility, fantastically developed, and linked together with a metaplot that we had been organically and naturally unraveling since day one. Meanwhile, each player had reached a synthesis of Pathfinder-style combat potency and crafting believable personalities for well-rounded three dimensional play. There was only one problem: Pathfinder itself.

Pain of Publication: Ninja Testing

Having successfully been a Guest GM before and having been inspired by excellent posts on using Marvel to power a fantasy-based system, I decided to try something odd. I sensed my normally tireless DM was getting burned out in Pathfinder, so I offered to take over for a few adventures. The group was pretty positive about a change of pace, but there was a lot of surprise when I said I was going to run the same characters, the same world, in campaign continuity with a different system.