Roll Call: Skills to Pay Bills

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I have been playing tabletop RPGs for a while now. I have read through many different systems and have tried even more. Over the years, I have gotten many of my friends involved in this hobby, one which I personally feel is immensely valuable and enriching. Because of my experience, my friends who are joining or even building new campaigns will often ask me for advice on starting up. Of all the advice I can give, there is always one that I consistently make sure to give: Use skill checks whenever possible. Continue reading

Roll Call: Avoiding the Dreaded Tavern

Whether you play RPGs or not, you have more than likely heard the standard cliche of how an RPG commences: All the players just happen to be in a Tavern, either at their own accord when something eventful goes down, or summoned there by some benefactor with a very special quest. The heroes then bound together to accomplish goals, slay monsters and loot the bejesus out of any poor sap that gets in their line of sight.

For real, though…. That scenario sucks ass. Continue reading

Roll Call: Woes of Character Creation [The Backstory]

Backstory for a character is an aspect of Tabletop RPGs that is often misrepresented as one of the weirder/dorkier elements. Though it can be very detailed, it is also a staple of the game, so much so that companies have actually created full guides or generators to help players create a cohesive story.

However, many people disagree with the necessity of the backstory. They see a detailed backstory as frivolous. Essentially, many GMs don’t care where your character is from as long as they are motivated to the adventure and stick to the campaign. That’s their prerogative, so fine, let them run the game the way they want, but I personally feel this approach to a key aspect of character creation comes from a vast misunderstanding of the importance of backstory.

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Roll Call: Woes of Character Creation [Experimentation vs Repetition]

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I have played a lot of Role Playing Games. I have created and been in charge of quite a few as well. As such, I have noticed trends and common problems. I intend to discuss some of those from time to time.

Let’s face it, character creation is simultaneously one of the most entertaining and daunting aspects of picking up a new RPG. At any given time, players have a myriad of questions they need to ask themselves while diving in. Afterall, excluding any unfortunate Owlbear maulings, this will be the character you are ultimately stuck with for a majority of the campaign, if not the whole darn thing. Thus, let’s talk about some of the woes and stressors that can rear their ugly little heads during this time.

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