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Tavis

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  • The AMA is live at this link!
  • I'll be doing an Ask Me Anything on Reddit's r/rpg community this Saturday, May 4th at 3 pm Eastern Daylight Time and expect to field some questions about Kickstarter there; I'll post the link a little before it starts and hope to see some of y'all …
  • Even just 'get rich/powerful' counts as a life goal (and as such it's very sad that it's been maligned by 'real roleplayers' for so long) I think this is because the support for wealth and power has gone missing in the evolution of RPGs beyond the w…
  • My post on Illusionism and Wandering Monsters has a play example and comes from a specifically old-school viewpoint. I think the general approach of the OSR is: - there are some things that are sacred because they contribute to the sense of an obje…
  • For Domains at War we're printing hex maps on vinyl for use with wipe-erase markers, which makes sense for big maps, and offering vinyl sleeves that you can insert an 8.5 x 11" sheet into which gives you three levels of permance - stuff printed or i…
  • Johnstone, I was interested to hear Luke say that Kickstarter sees itself as participating in a process of community education. I think that includes creators and backers learning from their mistakes, which may lead to deciding not to use Kickstarte…
  • Thanks for the intro! This thread was inspired by silby saying that my current KS, Domains at War, "has the most thoughtful, humble, and useful "Risks and Challenges" section I've seen so far." For more background, go read that; it's an attempt to d…
  • My oldest loved My Father's Dragon around 5 if memory serves, and it has a great fairy tale/adventure game trope where the kid-hero has a backpack whose contents are listed at the beginning, and each of them solves some situation later in the story.…
  • [D@W 2] This Kickstarter has the most thoughtful, humble, and useful "Risks and Challenges" section I've seen so far. That's one part having sat down with Luke wearing his Games Community Manager hat; one part experience with writing informed consen…
  • Domains at War is for when characters emerge from the dungeon rich enough to build strongholds and muster armies, and come into conflicts as a result. It's written for compatibility with the Adventurer Conqueror King System rules for hirelings, doma…
  • Basically all the Adventurer Conqueror King crew but me work at the Escapist and will be there in a professional capacity. Whether this will leave them time for gaming or socializing is unclear to me, who imagines that working for a magazine means l…
  • A run-down of the panels I am doing & mentioned upthread is here. I am also going to be running an Adventurer Conqueror King mini-campaign, as it also sayeth there. I hope that'll provide the opportunity to play with some of y'all, and if anyone…
  • Arpie, if you're running for kids the likelihood is that they have never played a pen and paper RPG before but have a remarkable depth of exposure to fantasy concepts from Pokemon to Star Wars, from Harry Potter to Last Airbender. My afterschool …
  • I do both professional GMing and professional RPG writing/design as supplements to my day job income. My average yearly income from each source is in the same range as Tomas's, but the pay-per-hour is much better in working with kids. Calculating ho…
  • For old-school games that don't use d20, I'd recommend seven stages of Gygax! Some later stages are: - Gee, since there are lots of different things characters can do in this game, it would be nice if we could ever survive long enough to reach t…
  • 1) I do this weekly in New York City with a group of kids 8-12, and occasionally on weekends for kids' birthday parties or adults' bachelor parties. 2) It's worth considering. In Israel, where RPGs as a commercial after-school activity appears to m…
  • I three am a Guest of Honor, with my schedule depending on which panels I get put on (a sub-set of waiting to see which of the ones I suggested get picked up). Hopefully I'll be on some of the same ones as Jason and Emily! I'll also be hanging out …
  • 1. Not Available Tuesday. 2. Available Wednesday. 3. Prefer Wednesday. 4. I've had meetings at the upstairs dining area at Whole Foods Union Square, it was quietish; will go wherever.
  • It looks like I am unavailable on Tues 5/15, also Sun 5/13. Other dates remain good for me. I'm in Manhattan and can just recommend cafes in midtown as play spaces. Places to eat not so far from you: Village Yokocho near St. Mark's Place for yakito…
  • Gaming: - There will likely be a Basic/Expert D&D game on the Thursday you're there, with the New York Red Box crew. This is at a cafe at 28th St. and 5th Ave. - I will jump out of my seat to play MDtQoF game, because I always do what I should. …
  • In actual ACKS play at conventions: - people want to play high-level characters; the King rounds fill up the fastest - what they want to do with them is go into dungeons; options that might involve a monster-filled hole in the ground are universall…
  • [World Peace Game 3 and out] I am on it! My wife and I saw the TED talk at a TEDx at our son's school, so I hope to talk her into going as well. If there are questions you want me to ask, start a new thread or whisper me!
  • Can my son and I be added to the whitelist? tavisallison and javiallison.
  • Posted By: J. WaltonThe OSR is one of the big movements and influences in Anglo-American roleplaying right now I think the Anglo-American thing is important. My family travels overseas a lot for conferences my wife attends, and I try to meet gamers …
  • The single biggest structural difference I see between Story Now and OSR games I've participated in is spotlight. It seems to me that if the goal of the game is going to be that "a moral statement must be made in play by the players", the tendency i…
  • John, I didn't realize that the "friction" in the its applicability to wandering monsters had such an impressive von Clausewitzian pedigree - I thought I was just ripping it off from an old Top Secret module.
  • The ACKS equipment packages are designed to be roughly what you can afford with your 3d6 roll. So you could say "OK you rolled an 18, you can take package #18 with the lamellar armor and everything and have no money left, or you can take package #3 …
  • The character generation templates in both ACKS and the
  • Cross-posted with Paul. a) I usually bring them into being. Sometimes if I have a complex where I understand its inhabitants really well I will make a custom wandering monster table where it's like "you encounter five orcs from room 12 out to get…
  • The answers above are all true, but also: - wandering monsters teach behavior; in Michael Mornard's game, he uses them to show us that we are in enemy territory and that if we dally or make noise (e.g. talking amongst ourselves) we will draw atte…
  • My White Sandbox campaign isn't at those levels yet so my feel for them is intellectual rather than visceral. (My 23rd level 3.5 guy built a stronghold but I felt gypped out of having it matter). Alex has taken two campaigns now up to those levels, …
  • Posted By: Bret GillanThese photos make me the happiest guy. Me too for a different reason! I showed the one of my son punching me above the bald spot to demonstrate the pose in our drawing of Colossus punching Vulture. My wife is black and was like…
  • The Death and Dying chart primarily reflects the desire to maintain a consistent level of consequence from death across levels, with physical effects of being dropped below 0 hp smoothing out the low-level grinder, and effects of restore life and li…
  • Jeff's Gameblog, how do I love thee?
  • Posted By: IrminsulBut most people don't understand that they are changing the nature of the game, how the game plays, and what changing one little thing does to the rest of the game. ACKS is for the most part not a hack of D&D so much as an att…
  • With ACKS, we found that there weren't enough people who ordered softcover to support a traditional print run. The lesson (rightly or wrongly) was to focus on getting the economy of scale in the format that was less easy to do with customer-side POD…
  • It means that we couldn't make all $15K in one go by saying "the top level reward is our souls" if the price we put on them is more than $10K. The cap is on how much any one reward can be offered for. Three souls at $9999 apiece is fine.
  • There was a super thorough fan analysis that showed you couldn't tell classes apart by what power effects were available to them, like 'that guy is able to knock unconscious he must be a rogue, slowed is a controller thing." I found it persuasive bu…
  • So cool! Not having the answer is the right way to explore this way of doing things that didn't used to exist outside all the people who could fit around a roleplaying table or into the TSR offices.
  • Repost, sorry.
  • I'm tuned in enough to see how playing S&W or LL might be different from playing B/X, but can't say for sure. Lots of New York Red Box experience suggests that the differences between B/X and OD&D are major - Eric and I haven't run one anoth…
  • Teataine, that's just talking about the recipe for Coke that used cocaine now that there is New Coke. Doing class design for Goodman starting in the playtest period for 4E, Greg and Eytan and Brian and I reverse engineered that 4e design of class me…
  • More options is always good; a great thing about Kickstarter at the macro and micro levels is that you can throw things out there to see if they appeal. David, it's as good to see you thought of the ones we did go with as it is that we also thought…
  • Posted By: Simon CThe central metaphor for the strategy and challenge of D&D isn’t the pure cerebral planning of chess, or even the calculated risks of backgammon. It’s Mao. For those who don’t know, Mao is a card game of a very simple shedding …
  • I think your point #3 is kind of like what I was saying about fighting-men and patriarchs in OD&D in the MIA Driver thread. Sometimes being jarred by the assumptions of the system can spur creativity. Explaining tripped oozes and no-girls-allowe…
  • Posted By: Paul T.Can you explain what you mean by top-down vs. bottom-up in this context? What aspects of it has this particular game pioneered? Bottom-up is what classic Traveller does: what is the price of fish on this world? ACKS doesn't pioneer…
  • Yes, except that you then might want to be like "can I benefit from this tome of puissant exercise if I first polymorph into an elven man?" Imposing boundaries can direct the way in which people transgress as much as concealing them. Anyway AD&…
  • Posted By: anansigirlOD&D (from your descriptions and what I know of it), contrarily, IS verygender binary, assuming traditional and conservative gender roles, and leaving it up to the players if they want to interpret that differently. Unless t…
  • Posted By: anansigirlLike Cyberpunk and Apocalypse World. In these worlds, things are less gender binary I missed out on all the cyberpunk RPGs, but one of the reasons I like AW and get an OD&D vibe from it is that it does feel strongly gendered…