I had the great pleasure of spending Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, enjoying the great geekery of Dragon*Con. Imagine a 4 day party of amazing costumes, dancing, informative and fun panels, and some slice of pop culture deliciousness for nearly every fandom that exists. I personally did some Marvel comics costuming, some steampunk (I built a hot air balloon backpack!), and a few panels with RPG game designers. Pathfinder’s Mythic Adventures sounds particularly cool, and the Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition is a fantastic buy for anyone looking to try out a great non-Pathfinder, non-d20 game.
One of the highlights of the weekend was getting to run a semi-official playtest of the Atomic Robo Roleplaying Game. After exchanging a few tweets with Mike Olson, the game’s designer, he graciously let me peak at the playtest materials and we set things into motion. Social media came to the rescue, and I was able to quickly set up a game for 5 complete strangers at Dragon*Con.
If you don’t know, Atomic Robo is a comic from Red 5, written by Brian Clevinger with art by Scott Wegener. It’s fun, funny, action-packed pulpy-sciency goodness. The game is built on the FATE system evolved by Evil Hat Productions (Dresden Files RPG, Spirit of the Century). Play moves fast, and the system is designed to really bring out and encourage roleplaying interesting and exciting characters. Going in, I was already a fan of Atomic Robo and of FATE, but the two together are particularly complimentary.
The game session was a success, everyone had a fantastic time. It was a playtest, so we spent a few minutes at the end discussing what we liked and didn’t like. Lots of positive feedback, and the negative stuff was mostly “could have used an example”— something I’d assume will be in the finished product anyway.
- Dragon*Con – a great time celebrating many forms of geekery!
- Mythic Adventures – Pathfinder supplement for expanding play options. Think “power of the gods”.
- Savage Worlds – a really solid and fun game, with the complete rule set available for $10 in the Explorer’s Edition.
- Atomic Robo RPG – it’s coming in Spring of next year, and it looks to be wonderful, especially if you are fan of Robo, FATE or both.
Two additions have been made today. First up is a simple feat, Small Strength. It was inspired by D&D Next’s die increase on weapons for some classes. Playing the rogue, I was delighted that his daggers did 1d6 damage. The knife-wielding rogue is iconic, but it was never all that effective. Why not let them have their weapons be meaningful? It costs a feat to do so, but now you don’t have to worry about the halflings and gnomes never finding good weapons in treasure hauls.
The other addition is the Vapor Spawn. Aberrations are my favorite, because they’re frequently Lovecrafty, and this guy is no exception. Some malevolent force from the Darklands could send this assassin to eliminate troublesome adventurers….
Our group played a game of D&D Next this evening, using the material from the 5/24 Open Playtest. The game moved quickly, with our group getting through quite a few combats (maybe 6?) in our 3 hour session. I enjoyed the system, though I wish the skill system was a bit more fleshed out. I’m sure that is in the works. Like all of the best game sessions, there was a lot of laughter, and callbacks to recurring jokes. There was a pants-less dwarf, a bag of fake gold, a cask of spears, and plenty of Breeark.
My biggest take away from the session was the reminder that so-called Old School Gaming is about murder. Our characters snuck into someone else’s home, and killed them— some while they still slept. I can’t say it felt very heroic, though if it’s good enough for the Greek heroes in the Iliad, I guess it’s good enough for Talor the Pantsless, Pragus the Illuminator, and Aldwin Tithbert (chaotic thefty).
Added to the wiki is the Spy’s Mask, a magic item for Pathfinder. It’s a mask for formal occasions when you need to charm your way into some information, and a last resort option if you have to fight your way back out.
Welcome to Electrum Pieces! EP is a blog & wiki where I post gaming material. These are short pieces for use in my games that I’m hoping others will also find useful or at least interesting. Much of the material in the pipeline is for the Pathfinder RPG, though I’ve got some thoughts and ideas on other games as well.
Obsidian Portal is a great service and resource for any tabletop RPG, and I have been using it for my campaigns for a couple of years. If you are unfamiliar with it, make sure you take a look around beyond the EP pages, and see how it can enhance your gaming. Now, on with the show!
First up is the Lamplighter, a creature for Pathfinder. This strange humanoid can be used as a quest-giver for low level adventurers, or even as mastermind villain that employs rival adventurers. Its need for spell components could easily lead to some old-fashioned Macguffin chasing. Think Ningauble of the Seven Eyes and Sheelba of the Eyeless Face, from the Fahfrd and the Grey Mouser stories.
Next, another monster and maybe a feat or two!