Category Archives: News, Rants & Reviews

Characters: Abilities Vs Loot

Last week, I did a post about some More Thoughts on ICRPG and this generated some good discussion over on MeWe. The subject came that ICRPG relies mostly on Loot as a means of character progression. This all got me thinking.

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It’s true that ICRPG uses Loot as a means to grant characters more unmph. Old School games were kind of like that especially for the non-casters. The only way for them to get cool/weird abilities was loot or drinking from that mysterious pool in the depths of a dungeon. But then if we look at 5E, every damned class has a super power and loot seems like an after thought. If everybody has cool abilities then just how cool are they? What’s the “right way”? Well, that’s up to you.

But here’s my thoughts. There should be a balance between the two. Loot doesn’t always have to be super cool. It can do things that a character may not otherwise be able to do. You know like food. (I know Goodberry). Or something really cool that augments a character’s abilities and/or skills. Also, Loot can become sort of the trademark for the character. Think of Elric without Stormbringer. Hmm? At the same characters should have a way either by player choice or chance or a combination of the two to get some nifty abilities or powers.

So let me sum up. Character growth and improved should be a combination of choice and chance. Somethings should character abilities and some should be from loot. And it most certainly shouldn’t be like a Chinese menu.

Dungeon Dwellers RPG. Say What?

This one totally snuck up on me. There I was just browsing away on the Internet and decided to do a little shopping and bam there it is.

Hey! This thing is by Reaper. Don’t those guys just make miniatures? Well, apparently not. Seems they also want to throw a game out there too. Well, they released the beta Players Primer on their website. And there’s some adventures over there too.

I, of course, downloaded and starting reading. Dungeon Dwellers is a variety of things from various editions and comes up with a generally streamlined game. It’s got the usual classes, races, and spells. There’s no monsters in this primer but like I said, there’s adventures there too.

They are releasing Dungeon Dwellers along with an old-school line of miniatures. That’s cool. I admit that some of the original Reaper Bones weren’t all that great. But I’ve given them another chance and I like their Bones Black and Bones USA lines. (And I like their metal mini’s too.) D&D is having wild popularity but why release your own game? I don’t want to speculate right now. I’ll just file that in the back of mind for later use.

So go ahead and check it out.

White Box Wednesday: Outside the Dungeon

This week I want to rant a little about the versatility of the underlying White Box rules. You’ve got those cool rules but you’re just in the mood for something else. No use having the players relearn an entirely new system just maybe a few genre specific ones. That leads me to these fine products.

Let’s start with White Star. IMHO, this probably the most popular of the White Box derivatives. It’s good old space opera and, yes, there’s a healthy dose of Star Wars influence. And if that doesn’t quite fit your fancy, there’s a very generous compatibility license so there are tons of supplements for it.

One of the more popular genres is eldritch horror. How can’t resist going insane while fighting elder gods? That gives us Eldritch Tales. While this too has generous compatibility license, I personally haven’t seen as many supplements.

Next up, a special shout out to one publisher, Night Owl Workshop. I mentioned them previously for their Beasties Books. But wait there’s more. They got a slew of stand alone White Box based games. You want Sword & Planet, Starship Troopers, Pulp Adventure, or Pirates. You’ve got it.

The neat thing is that since all of these games are basically compatible, a crafty GM can pull in all sorts of stuff from one and plant in another. Let that sink into your imagination for a bit.

And finally, I’m going to throw in some shameless self promotion. I even managed to put together a few supplements for White Star. And I did two stand alone games. Gary Vs The Monsters if you’re into the whole Evil Dead type vibe. And Forgotten Tales of Sword & Sorcery. This one goes out to all those who grew up on comic books and cheesy sword & sorcery flicks on VHS rather than literary works.

So yeah. I’ve a bit of love for the White Box style games. And shh. I’ve got something else up my sleeve too. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by the old blog.

More Thoughts on ICRPG

Well, since the Master Edition of ICRPG hit a good price, I figured I’d grab that up and do some more deep thoughts on it.

The Master Edition contains the Core Rules plus the main supplements like Magic as well as a couple more settings like Ghost Mountain. As I said, I ranted about ICRPG before. It’s a good game and a good toolkit depending on how you want to use it. Heck, I’ve already incorporated a few things into my home game like the timer die. Recently, I’ve going through the forums and picking up bits of wisdom about the system. This also led me to an awesome fan Youtube channel.

I’m still iffy about a few mechanics but after doing all that digging, reading, and listening; I’ve got a better handle the design philosophy and how better to mold the game into my liking. And maybe that’s one of the reasons that I’m still chasing after it. I like when a creator says, go ahead and hack this. Heck, don’t even use all of it if you don’t want to. I’m even tempted to convert my current campaign to be ICRPG-centric. Plus I’ve got a couple of ideas bouncing around in the back of my head. I don’t know where that is going to take me.

Patreon VS Locals, Odysee Vs Youtube etc

What do do? I have had some craziness in life recently and I really started thinking. I know you’re expecting gaming content here. Well, this is about delivering more content and keeping the good old blog afloat.

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My goal is not create a second income. Sure it would be nice but I want to be realistic. I’m very niche in what I post and what I like. I’d just like to set the reasonable goal of covering the costs of web hosting and occasionally buying some RPG product that I might not otherwise for a review. Nothing super spectacular there. So what to do?

I already have Patreon and Locals pages. There are pro’s and cons for each. Patreon is more popular and many folks are more comfortable with it. Locals does have a few more features available like native live streaming. It’s my personal feeling that Locals is much better than Patreon when it comes to building a community. Patreon feels much like building a virtual storefront or subscription service.

Of course, going a long with this thought process is video. Yes, I started a Youtube channel a long time ago and the pandemic blew things a part and I haven’t uploaded anything in a couple of years. But a lot of things have changed. It does take a bit of extra effort to do a decent video and I was just thinking is Youtube really worth my time as a primary video hosting solution? There’s a huge sound to noise ratio on Youtube. There’s just so many folks on there. It’s good but let’s face it, half of your task as a Youtube creator is working the algorithm and the other half is trying to keep up with what Google decides is the community standards of the day. I have plans of going of the deep end but heck if I want I should have some choice in the matter. Plus Youtube has made it even more difficult to reach that golden point of being noticed and maybe making a few cents off your work.

I’ve looked around at various alternatives and there really aren’t that many. I’m leaning towards Odysee. Sure there are a bunch of crack pots on there. But so are there on Youtube. And I suppose I could just use Youtube as back up for the Odysee videos and see what happens. As mentioned earlier, yes there are more people who use Youtube but there are so many and with Google’s algorithm the chance of someone finding it are about the same.

I did do a little experiment last year. I stopped sharing blog posts to Facebook. Yes, the blog does have a Facebook page that still gets auto posts. But I was also cross posting to a few fo the more popular Facebook group. I stopped doing that and just started posting on MeWe. Guess what? It didn’t affect the blog’s traffic. I had fewer pissy comments. And what’s even more interesting, blog traffic has actually gone up this year.

So with all those thoughts, what’s your opinion? What’s your experience? Or any other thoughts?