Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Getting more gaming in - how long and how often

I saw a post to a group asking 'was it normal to game 6-7 hours sessions twice a week' for 12-14 hours of table time per week. Short answer - that is a lot of gaming, well over what most people seem to be getting in.

Sweeping up a bunch of surveys to try and get a sense of whether players are playing more through time it appears the answer is yes; this could be down to virtual tools enabling quality online gaming or just a wider player base allowing more people to find a table.

So it appears from the larger surveys (2014 onwards) that at least half of respondents are getting in that weekly game, with about 1 in 3 of those people playing again in the week.

Monday, 12 April 2021

Shiny TTRPG links collection #12

Twelve weeks! Twelve weeks we have been doing this and still there are more interesting TTRPG things on the internet! Previous list found here. Inspired by weaver.skepti.ch End of Week links.

A pair of magnificent planar cosmology variations for your sages to argue over - Hexian cosmologies by Bearded Devil and Planescape variations by Locheil.

Cool magical cloaks from Chaudron Chromatique.

I saw someone ask after 'where are my wierd race combos' - which I had seen on tumblr by 'homebrew from the void' and flag here in case anyone else missed it.

Tao of D&D talks about followers for high-level characters and experiences dealing with 'but we are lone wolves!' reaction to this.

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Seeking inspiration in Kickstarters

In conversation on the tweet-machine about the desired properties of RPG supplements I framed it up as: "I want more art, lore and random tables in books; help me run the same six foes at the party in a dozen fascinating ways in your setting - circumstances, terrain, etc. Better same monsters, better environment than weirder foe in same 10 x 10 room."

WotC or whomever can sell me these things by the bucket load - I backed a bunch of kickstarters purely on the basis of getting my hands on this kind of content. I want windows into cultures I did not grow up in. I want genius ideas. Fever dream strangeness - anything and everything that I would not have come up with myself. The concept of Appendix N is exactly what I am talking about - folding in inspirations from all sorts of sources into campaigns. I will do another post on books to read.

A quick summary of 'setting driven' purchase decisions over the past while are below; these were all things I went after for the content and setting, independent of the system.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Still Here: Lizardfolk culture post

I like lizardfolk and all their many scaly-kin cousins. Given the explosion of variety we know happened in our own world back before the unpleasantness with the asteroid I think it is reasonable to say that injecting magic and dragons into the pot with basic lizardfolk should yield a lot more interesting things than 'lives in a swamp, focused on survival'.

The big hook I use for lizardfolk is stability and long, long cycle culture. Crocodiles showed up pretty early, realised they were on to a good thing and just stopped where they were. Crocodiles saw the dinosaurs come, crocodiles survived the dinosaurs going away, crocodiles are still here. I think that is a great hook to build on.

Lizardfolk by their hearth by Evlyn Moreau

So what are the aspects of our lizardfolk culture?

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Changing popularity of PC races with age & experience

tl;dr: examining the preference for top 14 races shows age-related trends - humans, half-elves, dwarves prefered by older players, tieflings, dragonborn by younger players.

Returning once again to Mia Gojaks survey from the 5e Facebook group we want to look at the preferences for races by age and search if there were any patterns that could be pulled out. This will hopefully let us go deeper than previous race preference checks. Breaking out the preference of each age cohort for the various races we see some interesting trends.

Looking at the data, I am again mostly surprised that there are any trends visible at all.

Monday, 5 April 2021

Shiny TTRPG links collection #11

This is the eleventh weekly round up of interesting TTRPG things found on the internet, this week there is quite a lot. Previous one found here. Inspired by weaver.skepti.ch End of Week links.

A take on how to run XP at your table that may be of interest - far too detailed for me but a good breakdown of factors to consider.

Aboleth Overlords has a great entry to the FKR world challenge - Ghost Town Slow Crawl - that doubles as an awesome quick town generator for any system.

Hopes and Highlights - a neat business card game that also serves as a quick pit-stop, health check on ongoing campaigns. I like the structure this brings to vague 'do feedback regularly' advice from other places.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Lessons learned on making maps and clues

tl;dr: home-making physical props takes time, some hints to making them useable so your time is not wasted

Maybe I just like mucking about with tea but I find distressing documents and creating tangible clues to hand to players to be one of the most fun and long-lasting additions you can make to games you run. Things, things you can hold, people like that and if it has extra things they can figure out, so much the better.

I have run a game with a big set of props and clues and played a con scenario and an outside campaign where physical things impacted the game a lot. The con scenario had a journal we could tear open to get vital papers. The campaign had the journal of one of the players from the first time they played through ~20 years earlier - a genuine adventurers journal! Here I will talk about physical documents that I used in my own game, all of which were meant to be clues or world-building of some sort.

However, my first approach to this when I started was "IC-ness matters, reality matters, everything you do to make it more real is valuable" - this was wrong. A perfect slice of the world that has no relevance to the parties activities - or worse is so oblique that they never figure out its relevance - is just a distraction and a waste of your time.

Examples; a set of correspondance that fell into PC's hands; distressed, thump-printed and crunched. And a map: