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Nathan Dowdell
Works at Modiphius Entertainment
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Nathan Dowdell

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RPG brainstorming for a moment. Many - even most - RPGs work with a principle of resource management, where a character starts at full power and depletes his abilities (health, ammo, limited-use powers) throughout the course of an adventure, at which point you rest and everything comes back (partly or entirely).

Fair enough - you can see the wargame roots there. But why is that the presumed default? 13th Age changes things up with the Escalation Die, which empowers characters and monsters during a fight scene as things go on, but the idea of an RPG system where you build towards power on a per-encounter basis rather than expend a limited resource seems like relatively unexplored territory... even when that sort of escalating power seems quite indicative of a lot of the kinds of media that RPGs try to emulate. 
1
Jennifer Fuss's profile photoTodd Rokely's profile photoEric Simon's profile photo
3 comments
 
It's a question of what you are trying to model. If the experience you want to emulate employs a slow build towards a culminating strike, that's fine. Certainly there are plenty of anime that could follow such a model. Just make sure that the buildup is either fairly quick or inherently interesting on its own.
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Nathan Dowdell

General Discussion  - 
 
RPG brainstorming for a moment. Many - even most - RPGs work with a principle of resource management, where a character starts at full power and depletes his abilities (health, ammo, limited-use powers) throughout the course of an adventure, at which point you rest and everything comes back (partly or entirely).

Fair enough - you can see the wargame roots there. But why is that the presumed default? 13th Age changes things up with the Escalation Die, which empowers characters and monsters during a fight scene as things go on, but the idea of an RPG system where you build towards power on a per-encounter basis rather than expend a limited resource seems like relatively unexplored territory... even when that sort of escalating power seems quite indicative of a lot of the kinds of media that RPGs try to emulate. 
3
Moe “Gilvan Blight” Tousignant's profile photoJeremy Downey's profile photoNathan Dowdell's profile photoColin Fahrion's profile photo
5 comments
 
Lacuna builds towards power in the middle of the game and then arches back down with its Heart BPM
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So... I'm looking at running a One-Shot or mini-series at the end of the month to celebrate the releases of Daredevil and Avengers: Age of Ultron this month (I'm UK-based, we get Age of Ultron on the 23rd).

I'm looking over plot ideas - I want an Avengers-style game, with medium-to-high levels of power, and while I've got a few ideas, I'm always open for more.

The idea that I'm working with at the moment is borrowing the recent Amazo Virus arc from Justice League and translating it over to Marvel - a virus based on the Super-Adaptoid where one of the symptoms give people super-powers. I quite like the idea of borrowing Justice League plotlines and retooling them for Marvel, so suggestions along those lines are particularly welcome...
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Helgi Már Friðgeirsson's profile photoNathan Dowdell's profile photo
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Nice one. I re-read that story recently, yet somehow completely forgot it when brainstorming this adventure...
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Fighters vs Wizards. This is a gaming subject that I've been discussing and thinking about a fair bit recently, what with the release of D&D 5th Edition. It's a subject that has run roughshod over many threads on RPG.net recently with one question recurring in many forms - how does a high-level fighter stand a chance of remaining meaningful when the Wizard in the group can fly, become invisible, see the future, and generally bend reality? Is the fighter empowered by destiny or legacy into something beyond mortal, like Aragorn or Hercules? Or are non-magical characters more akin to Lara Croft or John McClane - all grit and determination but otherwise normal?
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Benjamin Davis's profile photoglenn griswold's profile photoNathan Dowdell's profile photoKirk Foote's profile photo
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I had an argument with people over realism in DnD once that had people claiming that DnD was realistic, becuase a halfling fighting a dragon was the same thing as a real life little person could wrestle a komodo dragon.  I walked away after that.
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Nathan Dowdell

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Latest addition to my library... #dnd
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Nathan Dowdell

Shared publicly  - 
 
RPG brainstorming for a moment. Many - even most - RPGs work with a principle of resource management, where a character starts at full power and depletes his abilities (health, ammo, limited-use powers) throughout the course of an adventure, at which point you rest and everything comes back (partly or entirely).

Fair enough - you can see the wargame roots there. But why is that the presumed default? 13th Age changes things up with the Escalation Die, which empowers characters and monsters during a fight scene as things go on, but the idea of an RPG system where you build towards power on a per-encounter basis rather than expend a limited resource seems like relatively unexplored territory... even when that sort of escalating power seems quite indicative of a lot of the kinds of media that RPGs try to emulate. 
1
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Fighters vs Wizards. This is a gaming subject that I've been discussing and thinking about a fair bit recently, what with the release of D&D 5th Edition. It's a subject that has run roughshod over many threads on RPG.net recently with one question recurring in many forms - how does a high-level fighter stand a chance of remaining meaningful when the Wizard in the group can fly, become invisible, see the future, and generally bend reality? Is the fighter empowered by destiny or legacy into something beyond mortal, like Aragorn or Hercules? Or are non-magical characters more akin to Lara Croft or John McClane - all grit and determination but otherwise normal?
1
Nathan Dowdell's profile photoMichael Schmidt's profile photo
24 comments
 
I have not played or read 13th Age yet, so I am not familiar with One Unique Thing. I will need to look it up.
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Fighters vs Wizards. This is a gaming subject that I've been discussing and thinking about a fair bit recently, what with the release of D&D 5th Edition. It's a subject that has run roughshod over many threads on RPG.net recently with one question recurring in many forms - how does a high-level fighter stand a chance of remaining meaningful when the Wizard in the group can fly, become invisible, see the future, and generally bend reality? Is the fighter empowered by destiny or legacy into something beyond mortal, like Aragorn or Hercules? Or are non-magical characters more akin to Lara Croft or John McClane - all grit and determination but otherwise normal?
2
Kai Poh's profile photoLawrence Augustine Mingoa's profile photoGryle Gamer's profile photoNathan Dowdell's profile photo
11 comments
 
Personally speaking, I tend to use Fighter as shorthand for "martial classes" and Wizard as shorthand for "primary casters".

Beyond that, any ability is just special effects - but I want fighters to get more mo-cap and complex stunt work to accompany all the pyrotechnics, lighting effects and CGI the Wizards throw around.
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So... I started writing professionally in 2009, and produced material for four of the 40k RPGs between then and 2012. This was good, solid work, and I tested the limits of what I thought I could do from the very first book. It was all very compartmentalised, though - all the big design and development work had already been done, so it was mainly a matter of filling out the chapters with the necessary content, built upon that framework.

As much as I look back on my work on those books with pride and satisfaction, they're nothing compared to what I'm doing now in terms of challenge and involvement. Joining the team working on Mutant Chronicles when I did, I've found myself not merely doing a bit of writing for a couple of chapters, but getting involved in the development of whole sections of the game from scratch - I'm a whole lot deeper into this than I was with 40k a couple of years back, and it feels great, if somewhat exhausting at times, as I balance my freelancing and my full-time job.

For a while after I stopped writing for FFG, writing work seemed to be something in my past - a proud accomplishment I could point to. I wasn't in the best frame of mind, I'll admit. I had spent just over a year away from writing, telling myself that I needed the time to properly settle into life as a croupier. That was a convenient excuse: I didn't know if I'd get back to it or not, and it wasn't until the New Year that I decided that I wouldn't forgive myself if I didn't try. I'd barely started searching for people and companies to submit to, when along comes Ross Watson, who first recruited me to write for FFG in 2009, with an opportunity to return to the industry.

The end result - I'm back. I lament the problems and mistakes that led to me parting ways with FFG, but I got where I am now, doing exciting work with Modiphius, because of the good choices and the bad ones in equal measure. I'm a writer and games developer, and will continue to be for as long as I can.

The moral of this story is this: anything worth achieving comes with a mixture of luck, timing, effort, the people around you, and the patience to accept that the bad choices and bad times can still lead to good places.
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Just something that's sprung to mind today. #wizardweek #notplaytested  

Pyroclast (Compendium Class)
When you are exposed to the full fury of the Elemental Plane of Fire, and survive against the odds, you may take the following move the next time you level up.

One With The Flame
Fire yields to your presence. When you Defy Danger against fire, flame or intense heat, you may use +Int regardless of the situation.

Once you have taken One With The Flame, you may take any of the following moves as Class Moves:

Stoke the Inner Flame
You gather the spark of Primordial Fire within you. Roll +Int. On a 7-9, gain 1 Hold. On 10+, gain 3 Hold. You may make Volley moves using this conjured flame, treating Hold as Ammo. When you have no Hold left from this move, you may not attempt a Volley move with conjured flame.

Touched by the Inferno
For the purposes of the Ritual move, you may treat any Volcano or any place which has been destroyed by fire, as a place of power. When you Discern Realities regarding a place destroyed by fire, you may ask one additional question, regardless of your result.

Song of the Embers
You gain a version of the Fifth Level cleric spell, Words of the Unspeaking, that only works with fire, as a Cantrip.
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Ian Oberst's profile photoNathan Dowdell's profile photoAlessandro “Adam” Gianni's profile photoRyan B's profile photo
8 comments
 
yeah, preparation moves don't work well with rolls. Why not something like, "when you bolster up, you also gain 1 ammo, or 3 ammo for prolonged periods".


(well maybe in this case you can have 3 or 6 holds, but you get the point)
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Nathan Dowdell

MarvelRPG and Heroic  - 
 
I'm current running an Alternate Universe DC (Justice League) game on RPOL using Marvel Heroic, and I've had a player unfortunately drop out due to real-life intruding. The game can be found at the link below. The player dropping out was playing Wonder Woman, so a replacement to play her would be most useful. I'm open to one additional player as well, and have a number of pre-written datafiles (as unlockable characters) if people want to browse through them.
RolePlay onLine is a custom made, free web based message board community that anyone can create a game on. It supports internal private messages, groups and multiple aliases, character sheets and descriptions, plus a game map, intro and url. Your email address is kept private and is only used for verification.
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Dan Dubinsky (くりむさん)'s profile photoNathan Dowdell's profile photoJoshua Unruh's profile photoAdam D's profile photo
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Adam D
 
Thanks, +Nathan Dowdell . I checked out your site, and I just can't commit to reading all the past adventures. 
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I'm current running an Alternate Universe DC (Justice League) game on RPOL using Marvel Heroic, and I've had a player unfortunately drop out due to real-life intruding. The game can be found at the link below. The player dropping out was playing Wonder Woman, so a replacement to play her would be most useful. I'm open to one additional player as well, and have a number of pre-written datafiles (as unlockable characters) if people want to browse through them.
RolePlay onLine is a custom made, free web based message board community that anyone can create a game on. It supports internal private messages, groups and multiple aliases, character sheets and descriptions, plus a game map, intro and url. Your email address is kept private and is only used for verification.
1
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People
In his circles
73 people
Have him in circles
53 people
Nikica Puksic's profile photo
Domo Kete's profile photo
tom routh's profile photo
James Hewitt's profile photo
Fantasy Grounds's profile photo
Jaque Thay's profile photo
Andrea Castellow's profile photo
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Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
Tagline
Professional geek - writer and RPG game developer
Bragging rights
Contributed to twelve Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay books, including Black Crusade and Only War. Developer on Mutant Chronicles 3rd Edition, Infinity RPG, and Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of.
Work
Occupation
Games developer, croupier
Employment
  • Modiphius Entertainment
    Game developer, 2014 - present
  • Grosvenor Casinos
    Croupier, 2013 - 2015
    Blackjack, Roulette
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