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Jared Rascher
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Jared Rascher

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Played it for a little bit. In one particular regard, Skirmish mode for Battlefront is amazingly similar to playing the game online. You can turn the corner and find two of your teammates just standing next to an objective, failing to turn it on or off.
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Over the weekend, I ran a Pugmire one shot for a friend's birthday.

The Scenario

The group was comprised of scholars and criminals, and they worked out their connections to one another so that they had an excuse to be together when things went south at the beginning of the adventure.

A mutt who had been tortured and mutilated went on a rampage in the streets. The group subdued the dog and managed to get him to give them some lucid information about why he was attacking and what happened to him.

There was a poodle noble who was advocating closing Pugmire off from Mutts and Strays from outside the city, claiming that events like this were more likely to keep happening if Pugmire weren't better secured. The party's Shepard engaged him in debate, and impressed one of the Pugmires that happened upon the scene.

The Pugmire invited them to the Pugmire estate and introduced them to a cat diplomat who was discussing why strays had been attacking cat travelers near their city. Together, the group agreed that they would venture to a site that the cat's had found using necromancy, speaking with the dead mutt's spirits after they had been defeated.

The group wandered the wilderness, met some wild animals, and eventually found the ruins where the mutts had said they had been taken by their torturers. The dogs fought off animated armor, and then ran into Cultists of the White Mice.

Capturing a cultist, they found out that the White Mice Cultists had an "ultimate weapon" waiting in one of the labs, and the team split up, one group climbing to the top of the facility for a surprise attack, and the other just frontally assaulting the doors of the lab.

The dogs almost defeated the cultists before they could free the three headed dog monster they created. The White Mice cultists admitted they were using Man's technology to create monsters to attack the cats and foment discord between Pugmire and their cat neighbors.

Before the three headed dog monster could escape it's pen, the dogs figured out how to overload it's system with some substance that made it more energetic and stronger, and it's heart gave out.

The revelation that Man had created the facility troubled the Shepard, who decided that Man must have been corrupted by the Demons when he created such things. The party Stray decided he really liked the idea of "doing experiments" as explained by the cultist.

Eventually the group met up with the cat ambassadors again, and the cats gently mocked the dogs for their simplistic interpretation of Man and his inherent goodness, at which point the Shepard punched the ambassador, but he let the insult slide.

The group, now with the full backing of the Pugmires, put the poodle noble in his place, and were all awarded status with the house as agents.

The Setting

The players really seemed to love the setting. The idea of breeds, of what Pugmire was versus what free dogs thing of society, the Monarchies of Mau, the post-apocalyptic element, the rats, and the badgers, all really hit the right note for them.

The Rules

The game was just a little bit too much like 5th edition D&D, not in that they don't like that. The entire table are regulars at Wednesday night Adventurers League games. It's that it's so similar, but characters aren't quite as powerful as comparable characters in D&D, which skewed their ideas of what they could and couldn't get done before getting into trouble.

The magic rules also were a bit of a turn off.

The "custom built" feel to the classes was interesting to most of them, but not as well realized as they would have hoped.

Overall, there was a feeling that they would like this better if it were a campaign setting for 5th edition with a few tweaks to classes here or there rather than being it's own game that was just similar enough to feel familiar but not similar enough to feel they were able to do the same things at the same levels in the game.

Definitely still interested in seeing the full rules, and the setting overall was a big hit.
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I love that at Star Wars Celebration, Mark Hamill spends almost as much time talking about being Joker as he does about Star Wars and Luke.
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When Rebels first started their character profiles of the protagonists, and they mentioned that Sabine was an artist, my first thought was, "that's going to be dangerous if Thrawn ever shows up."

By no means was I thinking that he definitely was going to show up, but now that he is, I'm thrilled that one of the images from the trailer shows him analyzing Sabine's art.
Star Wars Rebels always wanted to use Thrawn, but he had to be used in the right way.
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I will concede to giggling madly at the shot of Thrawn surrounded by art. Kudos on the voice for that, too. Appropriately chilling quality to the way he spoke.
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After having someone in the Adventurers League community tell me I needed to cite page numbers to support my view on how a rule worked or else people couldn't properly decide if my interpretation was valid and having someone in the One Ring community tell me that when I cited my opinion that a TN 14 doesn't seem that bad for a moderate task in that system that I was fanatically defending the system instead of giving a good answer, I'm about ready to quit trying to talk about games online, with anyone.
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I have been running RPG's for a long time. I still don't know or use all of the rules to any single game system. I wouldn't be able to game with the folks you mentioned in your original post.
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So, I was weak and picked up the Witcher 3 during the Steam sale.

Really enjoying the game. I'm saying this as someone that likes Skyrim, but it's like Skyrim if you had a compelling reason to actually revisit the main plot from time to time.

Also, all of the pirates and bandits that use the term witch-f****r as an insult? I don't think these guys have seen the witches that Geralt usually runs with.
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I watched the Rogue One panel from the livestream of Star Wars Celebration over the weekend, and the Star Wars.com page just posted a video where Gareth Edwards snuck into a panel dressed as a Stormtrooper.

This guy is way too happy and enthusiastic to be secretly seething about corporate meddling in his movie, or having half his movie changed and directed by someone else.

I strongly suspect the reshoots on Rogue One were pretty standard reshoots, where the powers that be decided some things might work better if they tried them a different way, or that they needed more connective tissue between scenes. I just can't picture this guy "faking" it this well if he was really so devastated by Lucasfilm undercutting and drastically changing his movie.

I think movies like Fant4stic have conditioned us to read "reshoot" as "oh, crap, this thing is garbage, how do we fix it," and not "this might work better if we changed this scene around a little and added another one."
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For my Force and Destiny game, my players wanted to be Inquisitors. They didn't really want to be bad guys, per se, they just didn't want to feel like they couldn't become Dark Side characters either.

I had the idea for an Inquisitors game for a while, so I plugged their desire into my concept, and sent them to Wild Space to investigate the Blazing Chain, a group of Force sensitive pirates first mentioned in the WOTC Saga products, if I remember correctly.

I'm not an overly sandbox kind of GM. That isn't to say I like to railroad players, but I usually have a forward moving narrative that gives the PCs a few options for how to resolve the current situation, while listening to what they want to do in between sessions and working that into the narrative as things progress.

For this game, with them having some degree of authority, I wanted to leave things a bit more wide open. I did create some "action tracks" (as first introduced in the adventure Onslaught at Arda I--similar to clocks in Apocalypse World games) to spring some surprises on them if they didn't stumble across the issues behind those action tracks in time.

The first two session progressed relatively well, but the third session kept stalling out, without much momentum. It took me a while to ponder what happened, but I'm pretty sure I've got at least a little bit of a handle on it now.

Chandler's Law

In the past when I've tried to run more wide open games, without really thinking about it, I tended to have an encounter just waiting to go off if things ground to a halt.

For some reason, I didn't have that ready to go for this session. My brain just blanked, and I kept telling myself things would happen if they went to X or Y, but didn't prepare for anything to happen if they just stayed and deliberated a bit where they were at.

Chandler's Law can be applied pretty literally to a Star Wars RPG session. It's hard not to be able to find someone in the galaxy willing to kick in the door and start shooting a blaster.

Upon thinking about it, I even have the proper NPC in existence in my notes to have been a catalyst for this, and yet it didn't dawn on me at the time.

I think the biggest issue in applying Chandler's Law is being able to read when the game goes from the PCs just needed to have some time to sort out what they know and what their options are, and when they start going in circles without moving forward. I think it's a safe bet to say when the exact same facts get summarized again, or the same options brought up for discussion, things have slowed enough for the guy with the gun to break in the door.

Adding More Clock to the Action Tracks

While action tracks are like clocks in the Apocalypse World games, as presented in the adventure where they are introduced, it's literally a countdown to when an event will happen, and each section of the countdown is marked off when one of the triggering factors happens.

I was excited to have about four different clocks going at once, all ready to start going off and causing all sorts of surprise action from various points in the campaign, but by the third session, I started feeling like I was just doing a perfunctory check box exercise whenever a triggering event happened.

Then I realized that action tracks could really use a mechanism much more like the clocks or fronts in the Apocalypse World games. Instead of just marking off the next box, I went through and named the events associated with each box that was being checked off.

Doing this caused me to change the length of some of the clocks, and having an event associated with each of the clocks gives me a better idea if the PCs would have any chance to catch some kind of warning that something is progressing, other than just seeing the GM check off a box.

Giving them some foreshadowing of the events unfolding should help to make it feel less like the event is a "random encounter" and more like something that was advancing based on the PCs actions, and might have happened faster, slower, or not at all depending on how they reacted to not only the mysteries of the campaign, but the ongoing clues being floated.
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This seems really handy. Gives me a couple ideas about issues I'd been pondering for events in a mini-sandbox game.
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Spotted this image on a t-shirt in the crowd in one of the Star Wars Celebration videos, and it made me smile. My nickname for my daughter when she was little was Hoojib.
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Of all the deaths in Civil War 2, I think the saddest for me is the death of my interest in reading Marvel comics. But the original Civil War did that, too.
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After reading some of the recent comic book headlines, my brain has started translating them as I understand them. For example:

"After fourth or fifth relaunch and editorially mandated character derailment for summer event, Captain Marvel gets another relaunch."
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Maybe it's just me, but I think overtly subverting tropes associated with a genre can be just as annoying as overusing them to the point of cliché.

I'd rather dragons be a myth or not even exist in a fantasy setting, for example, then to find out that the word dragon is used for rainbow colored teleporting house cats.
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Nine steps the clutz took as a dwarf, 'ere he fell. Would you know more?
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If you are looking for me, then you have found the right Jared.  If not, I apologize for the confusion.  And for the  fact that there might be someone similar enough to be mistaken for me.
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Take away the suit and what am I? Just a broke former retail manager, distribution specialist, father, husband, Catholic, libertarian Game Master.
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