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Greg Christopher
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Greg Christopher

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Holy crap, this is an awesome resource.

http://makingmaps.net/2008/04/03/map-symbols-landforms-terrain/

hat tip +Tim Harper 
Erwin Raisz is among the most creative cartographers of the 20th century, known in particular for his maps of landforms. In 1931 Raisz outlined and illustrated the methods behind his landform maps,...
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Fantastic Maps's profile photoGary Forbis's profile photoJon Sprague's profile photoReese Laundry's profile photo
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Very cool. I absolutely LOVE Raisz' techniques.  Some years back , I scoured the internets and scored a copy of his 1962 textbook Principles of Cartography.  Super resource. Still can't draw maps worth a damn though.  Still, someday I'd like to be able to take my hex maps made in Hexographer and do Raisz landform versions.
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Greg Christopher

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I decided this week to add a chapter on Religion to the A&A revisions. Ultimately I blame +Erik Tenkar for this decision. Combined with other things, this will likely push forward to a second edition. 

It really became clear to me as a part of polishing up the Cultist class that I needed solid rules for actually converting followers to your religion. The Priest class demands rules for religious maintenance as well. So combined with Erik's request to me that I include a Greyhawk-esque implied setting for religion, this points me towards a full chapter.

Some of you may know.... I kind of despise the existing religious models in D&D, both in Greyhawk and taken to dizzying heights in Forgotten Realms. Much as I love those settings, wow.... the religion aspect annoys the crap out of me. So I will be forging new paths here.

Talk to me about what you love and hate about religion in RPGs. I have my own ideas but I don't want to channel the discussion in my direction. Let the spice flow freely. Hit me with your thoughts.
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Darren Priddy's profile photoWynand Louw's profile photoJoshua Ramsey's profile photoJames Aulds's profile photo
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As a former D&D addict....I have no idea what the current state of the rules are. I do think +Gary Forbis has a point...you shouldn't be able to combat a God toe to toe with physical weapons.

On the other hand, I'd hate to limit a DM to God as an abstraction. There can be very interesting plot points generated from a clandestine visit from an Anasazi-type god, or even a Martial god hanging out in a tavern incognito, as in the latest run of Wonder Woman. (Yes, I went there).
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Greg Christopher

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Long ago, someone carved endless halls out of the earth. They built a whole other world below the soil. The Dwarves try to take credit for it, but portions are clearly not their handiwork.

Who did it? And why?

Artist:
http://niltrace.deviantart.com/
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Gary Hoggatt's profile photoErik Tenkar's profile photoAdam Black's profile photoNestor Rodriguez's profile photo
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The dwarves built upon an ancient race's sewer system without recognizing it for what it was.

Yep, just changed a 3 y/o's diapers...
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Greg Christopher

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Recently played a little bit of Half Life 2 for some no particular reason.

I found so much to love in the setting that I missed the first time. Maybe it is because I have become a bigger fan of post apocalypse lately.

I really like the way that there is a significant amount of land that is despoiled or destroyed by what happened, where the Combine doesn't operate (or can't, perhaps). I love how the Combine is composed of humans that are selfishly selling their souls to the outsiders, so you get a mix of alien and human enemies. In an RPG, perhaps you could drive a wedge between individual Combine soldiers and their overlords. I like the kind of mad-science-ish nature of the Resistance with their bizarre weapons, teleporters, and adapted vehicles.

I guess I wasn't in the right frame of mind when I originally played this game. I think there is a lot for me to learn from it.
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Greg Christopher's profile photoJacob Wallace's profile photoJeff Pettorino's profile photoAlexander Rodecape's profile photo
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I still think some of the radio chatter in the game is phenomenal.  It adds to this sense of codes and ethics and alien beliefs, but on a human level.

It's a detail I really like.  Right down to the horrifying 'last thoughts' radio chatter of some of the 'zombine' soldiers, reliving the last moments before their heads were replaced with headcrabs.

I wish Valve would have made a sequel.  It's hit the point where it's easy to believe they've utterly given up on finishing the game's storyline.  But it's one of my absolute favorites of all time.
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Greg Christopher

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Goodbye Joffrey

I have never wanted a fictional character to die more than you. Congratufrickinlations
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Riley Jarrett's profile photoJason Carter's profile photoLance Allen's profile photoPatricia Powers-Williamson's profile photo
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SPOILERS! FUUUUUUUCK!!!
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Have them in circles
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Greg Christopher

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Crowd Source Brainstorm:

I have been imagining a random table to determine Affect in a social meeting in classic D&D. Lets say 2d6, so that middle outcomes are more likely.

1 = they leave the exchange in disgust with a lasting negative affect

7 = later they don't even remember talking to you

12 = they talk for a long while and in the end, they leave the exchange with a lasting positive affect 

But then I got to thinking about more uniquely random things that they might walk away with. Like... they might be attracted to you sexually. but this could be true EVEN IF THEY HATE YOU.

Thoughts? What other kinds of unique results might occur in isolation from the general affect result?

This line of thought was triggered by reading +Mikael Andersson's post today on sex in Dragon Age.
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Greg Christopher's profile photoDavid Blethen's profile photoDaniel Stull's profile photoChris Mata's profile photo
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+Matt Hydeman  don't worry.  I don't.  RPG'ing is more of a escape for me.  I am mostly of the same mind for movies and stories.    To each their own.  Some of the locals roleplay, courting, marriages, etc...   If you get your kicks, then you are doing it right. ;)
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Greg Christopher
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Here is the first redesigned Mundane class; the Brigand.

I gave them Backstab (the Knave will have something else), elaborated on a lot of things, created 2 new methods of spending character points, made armor into a mundane-only benefit, and I gave them a way to improve initiative.

This will feed down into a new initiative system where there is a single initiative roll made at the start of combat, which can then be moved around by mundanes (and monsters with the same ability). No more initiative rolls every round.
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Peter Fröhlich's profile photoSchedim Dustrat's profile photoTony Digaetano's profile photo
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Hmm, I just got used to having a "steal stuff by any means necessary" class in the brigand and a "achieve political objectives by any means necessary" class in the knave. Now you're telling me I can't think of knaves as assassins anymore? Sadface! :-)
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Greg Christopher

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Name something that a non-magic-using character could do that a magic-using character would be jealous of, aside from combat actions.
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Free time.
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Greg Christopher

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One of the things I really miss about the Grognardia blog was how +James Maliszewski would distill down OSR principles into INTENTIONAL design rather than accidental happenstance. 

For example, the encounter roll that randomly gives you a reaction from NPCs/Monsters encountered in the dungeon is not just some "well, we don't feel like writing content so just randomly decide how they feel", but a way to let the Dungeon Master kind of read the tea leaves and build implied story. These orcs are friendly.... why? Make up something on the spot for that..... maybe they are here looking for something and trying to avoid combat, maybe they are running away from something, etc. It becomes a fresh, unexpected thing. It's not an accident. It's not bad design.

So many people in the RPG community have such condescension for old design and see it as riddled with error rather than simply being intentionally different from what they are playing. So often I hear people say things like "RPGs are this particular way" when really they are just talking about how they prefer to play. Their way is not my way. This kind of thing is why I really put a lot of effort into the first chapter of Ambitions & Avarice where I talked about how a player should behave in my game.

Lately, I've been feeling like there must be a way to take the wisdom of old school design and create a mechanic similar to the encounter table that would help manage social dynamics outside of the dungeon. Something that would add a Game of Thrones feel to social interactions.

I have been rewatching the first season of Game of Thrones recently and I love the scene where Eddard Stark arrives in King's Landing and encounters Jamie Lannister in the throne room. This dialogue in particular, paraphrased slightly I'm sure as it's coming from memory;

Eddard: Beautiful armor. I notice there are no scratches

Jamie: People have been trying to hit me for years, but they always miss

Eddard: You have chosen your enemies well

Their entire conversation consists of barbs like this, thrown back and forth, ultimately breaking off with neither man the victor.

This is a social interaction. Each man is trying to intimidate the other. It ends in a draw and this raises the tension between the two characters. It could have resulted in one man feeling intimidated and backing down a bit.  And as the interactions progress, tension continues to build until it is ultimately broken by one side turning to violence and establishing social superiority by the sword.

I feel that this happens in the Western genre a LOT as well, the classic showdown at high noon.

I think there has to be an elegant old school way to not just "handle this" but create it. Lots of it. And make the player feel both comfort in knowing what they are risking while simultaneously remaining risky. Something I really hate about a lot of so-called "modern" game mechanics is that they give the player so much control over the risk that it becomes predictable and less exciting.

Not a FATE way. Not a Apocalypse World way. No offense to those ways. But that is not MY way. 

Anyone else feel me on this?
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Dave Inacave's profile photoClaytonian JP's profile photoFrank Lazar's profile photoJeffro Johnson's profile photo
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If HP is partially luck, fatigue, stress, etc., I don't have any problems having social combat doing HP damage.  (Of course, that way also lies that pressing and tiring your opponent in combat would be damage on a miss, which lots of people don't like.)
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Greg Christopher

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Definitely not the Chubby Funster anymore
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Ryan Shelton's profile photoLarry Moore's profile photoJoshua Ramsey's profile photoScott Mortimer's profile photo
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rofl. that's awesome
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Have them in circles
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Introduction
I am a hobbyist roleplaying game designer living in Atlanta. I do all the writing, layout, and art direction for my work. I also design maps for sale as stock art, so that other game designers can use them as they see fit.



I use Google+ to talk about ongoing projects and whatever else interests me.

Most Recent Project : Ambition & Avarice

Bragging rights
I have designed eight games so far, working on several more.