He beat me to it!

Cyberpunk 2077 is based off the roleplaying game Cyberpunk 2020 and this jerk beat me to the punch!

But joking aside, it’s a great roleplaying game and you should check it out By clicking here! 

 

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DriveThruRPG

Old School RPGs - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

Soooo… Guess who has Affiliate status now? This Girl!

Now don’t worry. This doesn’t mean I won’t make fair reviews. It just means I’ll be adding relevant banners on to my reviews.

My friends and I, have been using DriveThruRPG for a while now. We like it mostly for the PDF versions of the RPGs and it’s extra content people have added to existing RPGs. Extra content can include adventures for dungeon masters, character races for players, core rulebooks for both. All sorts of things! Come check it out!

Don’t know what to look at first? Just wait a few days, and let this set in your mind for a bit until my newest reviews are done!

-Carlie Out

Google Doc’s Roleplaying

My mind has been blown. I have learned of a new kind of freeform roleplaying format that can give you almost immediate satisfaction on replies. Also, it’s in the title… Google doc roleplaying! So it’s just like normal freeform roleplaying, see this post for Structured vs Freeform Roleplaying,  but with more freedom for formatting, I believe. Let me explain.

If you don’t already know, Google Docs is an online serves for writing and sharing writing, documents, excel sheets, things that Word can do. The best thing about it, it’s free. Some downsides to it you only have 15 MB of storage of stuff you can have on your google drive for free. You have the option to buy more data if you want. If you have pictures or videos on your google drive it’s going to eat up a good chunk of your data. A good way to get around that though is to download those pictures and then delete them from the drive.

 

Adam rp
Example of a Google Docs Roleplay, taken with the permission of my roleplay partner.

 

In the roleplaying itself. I’ve done this with a group of strangers for one roleplaying universe, and this one on one with another roleplaying universe. Between the group and the one on one roleplaying, I found that the one on one roleplaying is my favorite way of doing the docs roleplaying. Why? Because the one on one roleplaying one lasted longer due to us being online at the same time more often.

If you are going to do this sort of freeform roleplay, you should have one person being the guide of what’s going to happen. Kind of like the DM but with a player character. In the group docs roleplay, I did it started off great, but we didn’t have that guide. The combination of that and the lack of people getting online at the same time killed it.

My friend and I did the one on one roleplay. It was her world and I was the guest in it.  We would message each other out of the docs to see when would be a good time to roleplay and then decided when to go online and reply to each other in real time. For fun, we would color code each character we played. I slowly accumulated more characters as we went along.

Font and color were used in both docs roleplays. In the group roleplay, we even used an excel spreadsheet to keep track of relationships. We also linked songs to set the mood, and pictures of our characters in our introductions. Formatting is so much fun and can add a whole new creative dimension to your roleplays.

Overall I give this form of roleplaying a ten out of ten!

~Carlie out

GM Tips (1?)

So after a late night of rambling to my friends about how I wanted to do a magical girl roleplay, they eventually told me to make one myself. In anticipation of GM’ing this one, I decided to do some GM tips and talk a bit about Tokyo Heros the RPG. I’ll do a better in-depth analysis of Tokyo Heros after I have a few sessions under my belt to tell you guys what it’s like and some tips and tricks for running it.

First off for GM’ing a session, you’ll need to decide if it’s going to be a freeform roleplay, structured roleplay, or some combination of the two. When you decide that, pick a setting and (if you picked structured) a system to play with. While you are getting your group together to play and picking a day of the week to play, (possibly the hardest part) start thinking of what monster or bad guy, you want to pin against them for your session zero/test session.

For session zero, if you decide to do that, get everyone to talk about what they want their characters to want to get out of the story. You know, their goals and what not. I have a bad habit of having my character just along for the ride which can make me disinterested in my character after a while. Try to work a goal out of your players even if it’s a silly one.

Session zero is when players and GM’s get used to and make judgment calls on house rules, spells, and features. Make sure as a GM that you write down what you said for those judgment calls so you don’t accidentally go back on your word later on in the campaign. (I’m guilty of this and sorry my guys.)

Ok, now we have made it in between session zero to session one. This is where you’ve looked at the backstories of every character and thought to yourself, “How do I make this work?” Don’t stress, some of the stuff can happen naturally as the campaign progresses. What I do is write a not so detailed plot of what you want your player characters to fight and who or what gets them to fight it. Add the goals for your characters in there and remember to spread them out. Then separate each chunk of the overarching plot by level. Make sure to see who’s appropriately leveled if one of their goals is fighting someone or thing.

Remember this is just a base outline, plans can and will change. If all else fails, try to fit at least one fight per session and you should have a good time with everything else your players decide to do.

So now we’re in the first session. No matter what I’ll say you’re going to have some nerves. I have really bad nerves almost every session I start. I say go over your notes and maybe write a monolog of descriptions that you’ll need to pass the time and help you with your nerves. When it comes down to actually GM’ing the session with confidence is, the best advice is fake it till you make it. Don’t forget that you can always say no to your players. But if they throw out an idea that can work, be all ears.

——–         ———-        ———        ———–        ————

For Tokyo Heros, our session zero is going to include creating characters, discussions on how we got our powers, and overarching themes for the roleplay. I have some ideas for the themes and powers already, but the game said not to come in with expectations until you have all discussed it first. We’ll just have to see where it goes from there.

Happy roleplaying.

Carlie out.

Where do you roleplay?

Where do you roleplay?

I’m going to break this up the answers to this question into different conditions.  1) If your group of friends are interested. 2) If you’re shy and/or if you only have internet friends 3) If there’s a comic book shop close by. Now to answer them all backward.

3) If there’s a comic book shop within a reasonable driving distance of your house and you can show up there every week, try there. They will most likely have a group of people more than happy to have you aboard, and you can make some new friends along your roleplaying adventure. Being a comic book shop they will have all your materials you will need there. Make sure to ask about details before the game starts and see if you need to make your character before the first session you jump into. I personally haven’t been to a comic book shop roleplaying game but I know every table has their own rules and it’s wise to ask about house rules before the game starts. Also, don’t complain about them being different. You’re the guest at the table, not the GM.

2) If you are like me, a shy person with internet friends who loves them very much and they might want to roleplay with you. Most likely you don’t have the money to get everyone together in one area of the world to do so. So what I recommend is Roll20.net

Roll20 is a suite of easy-to-use digital tools that expand pen-and-paper gameplay. Whether you play online via our virtual tabletop or in person utilizing our character sheet and dice rolling application, Roll20 will save you time and help you focus on enhancing your favorite parts of tabletop gaming…”-Roll20 2018

It’s free to use service that you can pay for add on’s to enhance the experience. It has voice and video chat, you can make a battle map to help visualize whats going on in the roleplay, character sheets, and more!

I freaking love this site but alas I am not sponsored.

3) If you have a group of friends to play with I’d say buy one copy of the Players’ Handbook and a copy of the Dungeons Manual, both of which you can buy using this link and this one, and one of you creating your own adventure to play at your own house. It’ll be fun! Grab some snacks make a small party out of it. I highly suggest if you are going to GM the session to look at Geek and Sundry’s how to GM series on youtube for tips on how to do it. (Which you can check out by clicking here.) You are going to need your own pencils and copies of the character sheet, but dang it’s going to be worth it.

Again I am not sponsored by Wizards of the Coast or Geek and Sundry. I just really like their stuff. (Call me!)

So there are some places for you to roleplay, mainly structured roleplaying, like D&D. For freeform roleplaying, I also have some forums that I could suggest but that is a post for a different time.

-Carlie out

MASKS Update: Session Zero

Session zero of MASKS was fun. My friend did a good job game mastering it. So I guess I have some explaining to do. Like, what does session zero mean?

Well, my fine and might I say, handsome, reader. (Did you get a haircut?) A session zero is pretty much a session where everyone gets together to get everything organized and do a test combat to see how your character is going to act with the group. It’s one thing to have it all written out, it’s a whole other pickle to act them out. If you have any questions this is the best time to ask the game master about them.

For MASKS we did a different session zero than what I’m used to with D&D. For D&D we usually do our character sheets together, ask questions pertaining mostly to just the mechanics of the game (class, stats, those kinds of things). Then we do our test combat.

In MASKS there are playbooks which are pretty much your class. They give you a bunch of options to choose from for what you want to look like, what playbook you want, what kind of powers you want, how you got them to why you want to be a hero. They give you starting stats you roll with. Then they give you backstory questions for you to get more of a feel for your character. I find this very interesting and helpful. There are also relationship questions on how we interact with the group. We had to answer that in session zero.

In session zero we introduced our characters to the group, answered all the relationship questions, then voted on who would be the team leader. After that, we had prompts in each playbook we had on how the first battle we had gone, where it was set, who we impressed, etc.

Next session we do our first battle together and we fight HUNGO THE LIVING BUILDING!

Characters Part 2

Ah… that was a nice little break. I’ll be doing writing breaks every weekend just so you know.

Back to the many keys of the character creation analogy. One of those keys to a great, fun character is having your character have a goal. Something as silly as finding the greatest cookie can make for the funniest, and most fun roleplaying experiences. A DM could run with it and have you fight the cookie monster for the greatest cookie! You don’t have to try to keep your character’s goal realistic within the world of the roleplay but think, what would your character want from their backstory? Did they have a rough childhood where one of their family members skipping out on them? Boom! You’ve got yourself a revenge plot.

To make your character more engaging for yourself or your party, try giving your character a theme or “gimmick”. Say you’re a wizard who enjoys fire way too much. Try taking only fire spells. Laugh loudly when you use your fire attacks when you get a crit! Talk in hypotheticals about how buildings would look while on fire. You get the idea. You can do the same with ice. Maybe go with a thief who is obsessed with cookies…

Are you still stumped on what kind of character you want to play? Are you obsessed or in love with, or currently liking a media product or character? Try basing a character on that character and adding your own spin on it. For example, you can mix and match character traits from different properties and create your own character. Let’s take the looks from that one character from Game of Thrones so they fit the medieval theme, and give him the personality of say Finn from Adventure Time.  Throw in some dramatic past that he’s running from and a goal and Badabing. You got yourself a spanking new character. Feel free to use that one for your next roleplay. 😉

I hope this helps you with you designing your characters. I know writing about it made me reinvigorated to making characters.

Happy Roleplaying

Carlie Out~

Characters part 1

Characters! Ooh! My favorite part of setting up a roleplay!

Listen up! You are stuck with a character until they DIE or the GM lets you make a new one or it’s the end of the game and you can retire your character to live out the rest of their days doing what they love. In freeform roleplay and forum roleplay having multiple characters is less of an issue, in my opinion. Since in forum roleplay it takes so long (usually) for others to post so you need another character to play around with during the waiting game. Also, for freeform your friends will be all like, “Hey, you having trouble their champ?” and you’ll be all like “Yeah. I need to lose some characters.” At least that’s how it goes down in my group. When that happens either kill them off or retire them. (Yes I’m a stone cold killer.)

Most of what I’m going to be talking about is going to be focusing on structured roleplaying, but read it anyway because it could be helpful to your freeform roleplay too. If I could, I would highlight the parts that apply to both but sadly I can only bold and italics.

Now there are many keys on the key ring of unlocking a good character. First of all, is making sure your character fits the roleplay setting. The setting can range from the plant they live on to the city it’s going to be taking place at. Try to pry at your GM to get them to tell you what the world is like and how other people and races are treated. What socio-economic groups are there? What animals and plants are there? What does each class of said race dress like? If you are playing D&D and your GM tells you its “generic fantasy” don’t be satisfied! Keep digging. This will help you and the GM build the world.

Once you get your answers, you will probably get an idea of what you want your character to be and their backstory. Try working them into the story ahead of the game if you can. It helps with immersion with the universe. If your character is new to the setting, great! Talk to your GM to see if you can make a new setting JUST for your character’s backstory. Maybe it could be worked into the roleplay one day, maybe. But remember to keep it within the same theme of the roleplay in this setting your character is not from if you do want to develop it into something to go to.

Backstory time. A good phrase I learned when making a backstory is, “Don’t have the most exciting part of the character life happen in the backstory.” Like what’s the point of them going on this adventure other than to complain about how the last one was better?! (And if you make a character that does that, everyone is going to want to kill your character off. Just saying.) Backstories are usually for how the every-man got the IDEA to become something greater and the boring part of how they got to the skill level they are at now.

I promise to go more into characters later but I must rest. I got started on this post late and f@(% me it’s even later in the night.

Carlie out~

Structured vs Freeform

As I promised in my 1 AM, first-post ramblings, I told you all that I would go into what I called “structured” vs “freeform” roleplays. Structured roleplaying is called that because it uses a system of sorts; maybe they use a leveling system or health system, something along those lines, possibly more. Freeform doesn’t usually have a system in place to keep players in check, but they keep each other in check through mutual understandings and predetermined rules. I guess you can say there’s more math in structured roleplaying than in freeform. They both have their ups and downs, but they are both very fun. I’ll just lay it all out for you.

Looking back on it all, the freeform I used to do was a hot mess. My first time roleplaying was freeform styled on an old abandoned forum, then one on one with a friend through texts, and then on another forum with strangers; and we had no idea what we were doing other than having fun. On this site, we would take turns on each thread being Game Masters to whatever conflict took place, basically saying what was going on with the bad guys. Even then, there were many instances of other people taking over from the original GM because of our rapid-fire posting problem. (We would all get online around the same time every day and try to post at the same time… this was before discord and I didn’t trust strangers with my Skype at the time.) Most of my freeform roleplay experiences had no overarching stories unless you made one for yourself or make yourself the sole Game Master for it. There where barely any villains that weren’t another player character to fight because if it was some un-named mook, it would be killed in an instant by our super moves.

But that’s forum roleplaying.

In small contained groups, freeform could be great for telling a story for your original characters or not original ones. If you get an idea for a situation, you could quickly jot it down and send it off to your friends to see how their character reacts. With close friends and small groups, you usually know each other’s limits or have a base rule social rule set you go-by and you can roleplay by.

Just remember if someone isn’t having fun; STOP and address the problem.

Things that I consider to be structured roleplay: 1)Dungeons and Dragons, 2)Anything that uses math to make things fair in a roleplay. 3) Yeah, that’s all I’ve got.

After a while of roleplaying, we found that we could have our characters fight each other at the same time or we could have our characters work together to beat something up. So we tried to do that. But if you remember, if it was unnamed it was no match for us. We needed a power scale to see how far our characters have come and will go. So after many attempts at making our own system per roleplay, we’ve started trying to use other pre-made systems.

Systems are like the style of video game you want to play. Do you want a first-person shooter? Massive multi online battle arena? Do you want a strategy game? These systems are like that but with their own flavors to the genre.

D&D 5e uses the D20 system. It is a great system for beginners and experts to enjoy a roleplaying game for characters that want to fight with or without magic. The game focuses on a high fantasy setting that can be highly customizable along with classes and races without ruining the way it is played. The downside to it is that the characterization can be easily pushed to the wayside in favor of just battling through every monster you see. This depends on the GM of course.

I haven’t played it but I have scanned the Star Wars system and it is very confusing. I think it requires special dice.

A good horror system is called Dread. It is very character driven and uses cards to determine if you are in the game, out of the game, or super stressed. There’s no leveling system but the cards are basically your health system.

I’m currently looking over MASKS for a roleplay I’m going to be in. This one I think almost straddles the line between freeform and structured. It too is very character driven and every time you roll a miss on a move you gain potential which is a leveling system. I find this very interesting. I’ll keep you updated on how this roleplay goes.

Some downsides to using systems are that the Game Master can’t make a character to participate in the game because that character knows all the secrets to the puzzles and everything. But they are still participating by recounting the world and playing all the non-player characters. So that’s cool.

Well, that’s all the sweet, sweet knowledge I know about today.

Carlie out