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Benjamin Feehan
643 followers -
Husband, Father, Author, Nerd
Husband, Father, Author, Nerd

643 followers
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Friends of Muspelheim by Paul Bonner

The Trudvange Artbook, 2015
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He's off to join the Gygaxian Rock Opera! Complete with halfling bard sidekick!

Also, how did I not know this bit of bizarre, anachronistic buffoonery was the official music video for this?

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Weavers of Vitner by Alvaro Tapia and Thomas Wievegg
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Logrjotun, Trudvang Chronicles, Jorgi's Bestiary

Art by Alvaro Tapia
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My Trudvang books are on their way. The PDF's arrived ahead of the physical copies and I don't think I'm being hyperbolic in saying that the art inside feels transformative. I have /never/ seen anything like this.

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Log Troll by Thomas Wievegg
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#12RPG of +Paul Mitchener 's cool December thing.

2. Which genre tropes that come up in an RPG genre of your choice do you love, and never get tired of? Why do you love them?

Ye olde "zero to hero" trope is one of my favorites for a number of reasons.

First, the idea of the third son, the shepherdess, the prince without a kingdom, the smith's son, the pauper, the lowly apprentice who rises by pluck and determination is one of the oldest tropes in the fantasy genre, way back when it was just myths and fairy tales. I don't care what society or culture you crib from for your fantasy universe, this ambition to improve one self is the stuff legends are made of. Without it you mostly have apathetic, boring, railroad-y adventures where the GM does all the work and everyone else just reacts and hopes they survive. Or you know, you have Hunger Games and sell 14 million copies. winces

Second, while inevitably competent heroes make for acceptable network television that runs for seven seasons, it often makes for boring games. Someone playing a level three rogue is actually going to hold his breath while rolling that stealth check. A low level party is going to have to run rather than waiting for the wizard to break out the level 8's and nuke it from orbit. Not that being competent isn't fun. It's just so much more fun when you've earned it and you have a sense for how far you've come. That dragon you just put down feels like an actual accomplishment when you remember how that one kobold wizard nearly shook down the entire party a year ago.

Lastly, I think pretty much everything worth doing takes time. As an adult, I don't have as much time as I used to, but isn't that a reason to make the little time you do have to do what you want count? The fact that so many games are touted as zero prep, fast playing kind of rubs me the wrong way. That's like saying, Thanksgiving food is delicious and tasty, but it takes all day to make, so how about you have a turkey sandwich instead! It's not even the same thing. It's practically a bad joke.

Maybe it's just that all the best gaming experiences I've ever had have been those that have been years in the making. Most of the time it's been playing on a monthly or bi-weekly basis. Sometimes you don't level up for what feels like six months. When you do make progress, and when you see how the world has changed, it's a treat. It's worth the effort and the wait.
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Ladies and gentlemen, the tour manager of the Eyedolls, Michael Bayholder. Exactly as described by +Richard Rohlin and as rolled up in Volo's Guide to Monsters. This thing makes me smile more than can possibly be healthy. The Gygaxian Rock Opera is already off to an awesome start.

LOOK AT HOW WEIRD THIS THING IS?

Also, you know what's cool? Artist's in your games. +Paul Roth has been a regular in my games for a couple of years now and a developing artist. He's been a joy to watch as he improves and he always brings his A game to the table during games. Thanks so much for this....thing, Paul.
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+Paul Mitchener is a cool cat and also super smart and I'mma do his #12RPG until I slack off and forget. It'll be fun while it lasts.

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Question 1: You’re running an RPG to introduce new players to the RPG hobby this month. Which game and genre do you choose, and why?

I grew up in a fairly conservative Evangelical Christian circle and still rub shoulders with most of them. As a result most folks I meet who are new to RPGs have a number of significant ideological hurdles to get over to even consider playing a role playing game. Often it's little more than a vague sense of dread fueled by a certain sense that Ben is quite intentionally trying to drag them into something subversive and more than a little taboo. If you think Jack Chick and the 1980's was the end of the "Dungeons and Dragons/RPG's" are evil thing you'd be wrong. It was on the hit list for every Evangelical Christian with anything to say about raising Christian kids in an increasingly antagonistic culture. There were books. There were sermons. There were radio dramas. Plural.

While It's certainly less active and overt than it was, it's still more or less alive in 2017 and concerned Christian parents and Christians can certainly still find detractors whose rickety websites still hold enough misinformation to scare them away. Honestly I don't fault them for it. It has more to do with trusting people you assumed knew what they were talking about than any kind of bigotry or personal ignorance. Jesus did call us sheep after all.

In any case, once I've explained that role playing is less demon summoning in dark robes and not dissimilar to improvisational theater with dice or more systematized games of pretend, there's still the magic thing. Most Christians I've talked to aren't very clear on this either and again, I think that's mostly because we tend to follow the herd. Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, Narnia, and now, mostly, Harry Potter is okay. Sure they are full of magic and magical creatures, but...well... a lot of healthy, thriving Christians have read them and seem okay, so... Honestly, I think having to take the time to form an opinion on something they find non-vital or generally disposable (sadly) is more work than it's worth for most and it's easier to, again, go with what works.

As such, my go-to, not unlike +Richard Rohlin, has typically been +Monte Cook's Numenera. The setting is weird and fantastic enough to capture the sense of wonder without any of the overt magic that makes some people uncomfortable. It's got the core conceits of classic fantasy RPG's while being suitably removed from the elements which was subliminally red flagged so long ago. To date, it's how I got my wife (who is truly awesome) and some of my best regular DnD players into the game as well.

I'm less a fan of Cypher system than I used to be, but the setting and themes are easily portable and I'm looking forward to the chance to run it with something like +Alexander Macris' ACKS rules.

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Character and band creation session for Gygaxian Rock Opera 2.0 tonight. We used a combination of in-house, setting specific roll tables along with those found in the 5e PHB and Xanathar's Guide. Tell you what, folks. The dice tell a story. Sometimes it's fantastically nuts.

Tonight the dice told the origin story of the Eyedolls, a glam rock band fronted by a sixty something (!!) human bard by the name of Solaire. He was actually tossed overboard by his deadbeat sea rat parents and accordingly raised by Triton water gypsies. Pretty sure (unintentionally) he's just Keith Richards or Iggy Pop.

Backing him up on guitar is a twenty something Aasimar wizard formerly a burglar and with serious authority issues. The girls are gonna go nuts. He's a classic beautiful bad boy. Again, all in the dice.

On Solaire's other side we have forty something Goliath woman on bass. She's a seasoned fighter who actually took part in at least one war. I have no idea where she falls in the overall schema of classic rock figures, but I would watch the heck out of this show /right now/.

Managing the group, and assisting in their search for a drummer is their tour manager, Mike Bayholder. Also a beholder. +Richard Rohlin asked, and given that he's one of few people I trust not to abuse the chance to play a beholder and hack the rules intelligently, I let him. Mike is a career criminal. The dice said so. He's recently gone legit to manage the band. Right. This will end well.

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I don't know if I've mentioned this in anything less than a couple of years, but +Richard Rohlin and I (mostly Richard) wrote some books! Super nerdy superhero prose full of intrigue and super spies and action!

Since it's Cyber Monday and all of you are already throwing money at Amazon, maybe check them out!
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