<description/> <link>https://www.gameskinny.com/</link> <language>en</language> <copyright>Launch Media Network</copyright> <atom:link href="https://www.gameskinny.com/pen-paper/?format=rss" rel="self" type="application/rss+xml"/> <item> <title>Cyberpunk Games to Play While Waiting on Cyberpunk 2077 https://www.gameskinny.com/9eij2/cyberpunk-games-to-play-while-waiting-on-cyberpunk-2077 https://www.gameskinny.com/9eij2/cyberpunk-games-to-play-while-waiting-on-cyberpunk-2077 Fri, 28 Feb 2020 16:27:49 -0500 Ty Arthur

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What other cyberpunk themed games did we forget about that should have made the list of games to play while impatiently waiting on Cyberpunk 2077? 

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Sound off with your top picks below so we have something to do while twiddling our thumbs after the latest release date delay.

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In the mean time, we'll just be gawking at the Keanu Reeves guitar-shredding figurines and line of Cyberpunk 2077 Funko Pop figures while dreaming of the day that Cyberpunk 2077 actually hits PC and consoles.

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Reality's Edge

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We couldn't resist just one more genre hop before wrapping up! If your gaming group is more into the combat side than the roleplaying side, then take a look at Reality's Edge.

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What you get here is a setting-independent cyberpunk tabletop skirmish ruleset that lets you use whatever minis you want. That makes Reality's Edge much less of a money investment than jumping into a full blown tabletop war game with its own miniature line.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/z/0/bz0kn0r3mc631-3042d.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/z/0/bz0kn0r3mc631-3042d.png","type":"slide","id":"207272","description":"

Cyberpunk Red

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In a look at games to play while waiting on Cyberpunk 2077, we couldn't leave out the grandaddy of tabletop RPGs that inspired CD Projekt Red's video game in the first place!

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There have been a few different editions of this franchise over the years, and the latest is Cyberpunk Red. If you want to know what to expect from Night City and delve deep into the lore and style before 2077 sees official release, this is the tabletop game to pick.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/1/l/71l8ddv8wdl-1f9b5.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/1/l/71l8ddv8wdl-1f9b5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207271","description":"

Infinity: The Roleplaying Game

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We've covered a huge range of game styles on the digital front, but there's still more ways to experience the cyberpunk style, especially if you like a community aspect to your gaming.

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Infinity is a cyberpunk-heavy 2d20 pen and paper RPG from Modiphius. Even if you aren't an avid roleplayer you might be familiar with the name already, as Modiphius has tabletop versions of Fallout, Conan, Mutant Year Zero, and other franchises.

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This one actually goes a bit beyond the bounds of typical cyberpunk, as its inspired by a tabletop skirmish game. That means you get sci-fi traditional warfare, electronic info warfare, and social psychological warfare all in one game and the book is absolutely huge to make room for all those rules!

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Obviously the hardcover book is on the expensive side, but you can grab a PDF copy through places like DriveThruRPG for half the price.

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Mindnight

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Here we go with another radical gameplay shift to show just how versatile the concept of "cyberpunk" can become. Mindnight is a social interaction game of guessing who is for and against you.

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Essentially, this is the exact same gameplay as the One Night Ultimate Werewolf card game, except that its online and features hackers instead of werewolves.

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While you can jump into multiplayer sessions with randos, Mindnight is signification more fun to play with people you know due to the mechanics of guessing who is doing what.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-1ae64.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-1ae64.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207275","description":"

StarCrawlers

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We aren't done on our whirlwind tour of wildly different genres in the cyberpunk style, as StarCrawlers offers something you don't typically see. This one takes the classic Wizardy or Dungeon Master style of first person dungeon crawler and converts it into a sic-fi cyberpunk setting!

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Rather than plundering those underground dungeons filled with kobolds and slimes, instead your crew is committing corporate sabotage and completing bounties for the amoral megacorps.

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If you've played Legend Of Grimrock or Might And Magic X into the ground, StarCrawlers is a great palette cleanser by offering similar gameplay in a  totally different setting.

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Remember Me

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Another blast from the past, Remember Me doesn't require going nearly as far back to enjoy as Snatcher. This one originally hit the Xbox 360 and PS3, although in cyberpunk tech terms, that's basically an eternity.

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Although it was sort of panned at launch due to a few issues with repetitive combat, Remember Me has essentially become one of those sleeper hits that's thought of fondly long after its time has past.

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The action combat and cyberpunk world on display here is rather surprising considering Remember Me was released by Dontnod before the development team started working on Life Is Strange!

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If you don't feel like pulling out and hooking up your old 360, Remember Me is available on Steam now, and its up for grabs super cheap!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/q/d/hqdefault-99c31.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/q/d/hqdefault-99c31.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207268","description":"

Snatcher

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Even more old school than Dex, the Hideo Kojima-led Snatcher may be one of the very first graphical cyberpunk games to hit consoles. This forgotten gem was released in Japan back in '88 and then eventually hit North America with a Sega CD port in '94.

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Snatcher is basically made of classic tropes, but that's because they were still fairly new at the time. The amnesiac investigator on the hunt for androids who look like humans will make you think alternatively of Terminator or Blade Runner.

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On the gameplay front, Snatcher sits somewhere between a point 'n click adventure game and a visual novel but good luck finding a working copy at this point! Your best bets are going to be abandonware sites, trying to get a Sega CD emulator up and running, or just watching full Let's Plays over at YouTube.

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Dex

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So far every single game in our list of Cyberpunk 2077 replacements has been of a completely different genre, and we're not going to stop that trend now! Dex is a side scrolling, platformer RPG with some non-linear elements that let you tackle events in different ways.

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For a bit of variety, the hacking segments spice things up by switching to a twin stick shooter mini game. If you've got need for a nostalgic trip down '90s game design, Dex is the game to pick, and it has a free demo at Steam if you want to try before you buy.

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Satellite Reign

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Focusing more on combat, Satellite Reign is an anomaly in the realm of squad strategy games because it takes place in real time, rather than going turn-based. That can be a big change to overcome if you're switching from Transistor (which uses both styles) or Shadowrun (which is entirely turn based). 

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Here your squad will move through typically neon and darkness-shrouded back streets while dealing with the ever present and omnipotent mega corps. There's plenty of different ways to tackle any given scenario based on your squad load out, and the cyberpunk themes are baked right into the gameplay.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/h/a/shadowrunhongkongboxart-1ea90.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/h/a/shadowrunhongkongboxart-1ea90.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207265","description":"

Shadowrun Hong Kong

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Despite the focus on magic, the Shadowrun series has long exemplified the basic cyberpunk tenets of unrestrained corporate greed and technology merging with human life.

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A trilogy of standalone games from Harebrained Schemes kicked off with Shadowrun Returns, and all three of them are worth playing while waiting on Cyberpunk 2077.

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While second title Dragonfall probably has the most direct cyberpunk elements, Hong Kong isn't lacking in them and has the best overall gameplay of the three.

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Make sure to pick up the missable companion Racter on your playthrough though, and get ready for some mind-blowing discussions on transhumanism and what it means for the species when they merge with robotics. 

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Transistor

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While the cyberpunk style tends to be thought of as fairly one note, the differences between Observer and Transistor show that doesn't have to be the case. Despite featuring a totally different color scheme, protagonist, and gameplay style, both are still firmly in the cyberpunk realm.

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This is the second main entry from indie darlings Supergiant Games, and sadly many of their later titles haven't been quite as well received as the debut Bastion (the odd football combat mechanics in Pyre didn't do it for me, to be honest).

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Transistor still absolutely has the goods though, featuring more options on the combat front, and just as high quality of a soundtrack as its predecessor. Although the sci-fi story is told in a non-traditional (and occasionally obtuse) manner, the journey here is well worth taking from beginning to end.

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Observer

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Cyberpunk typically comes in a dystopian setting, and while games like Shadowrun and even the titular Cyberpunk itself flirt with the idea, not many games in this genre explore the full horror of what that really means.

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That's not the case with Observer, as paranoia and hopelessness are major themes in a world where unchecked corporations (and technology) run amok.

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Rutger Hauer stars as the main character in this exceptionally well executed version of the "walking simulator" horror game. Observer puts a twist on that style, melding in sci-fi detective mechanics as you process crime scenes and jack into the memories of the deceased. Some of those memory runs end up like a fever dream of a Black Mirror episode.

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Although Hauer has sadly passed away since Observer was released, Bloober Team has recently been posting teaser material indicating a possible second entry may be in the works.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-8fc3a.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-8fc3a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207888","description":"

Following eight torturous years since the initial announcement trailer blew everyone's minds, the unthinkable has happened. Cyberpunk 2077 has been delayed, and isn't due to drop for console and PC until September 17, 2020.

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That means we've got an extra five months to wait until finally exploring Night City than originally planned. With all that extra time on our hands, why not delve into other takes on the cyberpunk style?

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Here we've rounded up the 12 best cyberpunk games covering every genre and platform with a few tabletop options thrown in as well! 

"}]]]>
9 Best Witcher Quests to Recreate in Dungeons & Dragons https://www.gameskinny.com/7h3xw/9-best-witcher-quests-to-recreate-in-dungeons-dragons https://www.gameskinny.com/7h3xw/9-best-witcher-quests-to-recreate-in-dungeons-dragons Fri, 28 Feb 2020 12:55:59 -0500 Ty Arthur

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What did you think of our picks, and are there any other quests from The Witcher games or Netflix series you think would make a great RPG adventure?

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R. Taslorian previously announced a collection of The Witcher adventures titled the Book Of Tales was in the works, although there doesn't seem to be an actual release date at this point. If you need more ideas for a Witcher campaign, the games and books are probably your best bet for inspiration right now.

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If you've already gone through all those stories, keep in min the Netflix show is getting at least two new major characters -- one from the books, and one from The Witcher 3 -- when it lands in 2021, and we also have an animated Witcher film focusing on Vesemir to look forward to soon.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-65223.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-65223.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207505","description":"

A Matter Of Life And Death

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While the backing reasons for getting into this quest probably don't connect to your existing campaign, several of the major plot points make for excellent D&D fodder.

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Shadowy deals, following contacts through markets, secret passwords, and intrigue during a masquerade ball are all great ways to get your party more into the roleplaying side if you've had too much combat lately.

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Of course, the quest doesn't completely lack in that either, as there's bandit ambushes and witch hunter zealots looking to annihilate all spellcasters.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/2/20200217142516-31239.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/2/20200217142516-31239.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207500","description":"

The Last Wish

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This iconic short story of the same name was adapted as a major plot point of the Netflix series, and while it may not work as-is for most gaming groups, the basic story beats are perfect for a D&D translation.

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The romance subplot can probably be jettisoned (unless you've got a co-dependent couple of characters who need to be forcibly removed from one another somehow) but the notion of capturing a djinn to work powerful wish magics has everything you need for an adventure.

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Be careful how you structure this one though, as party members getting to proclaim wishes is a quick way to unbalance a game world although that might be half the fun!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/r/i/princess-168ea.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/r/i/princess-168ea.png","type":"slide","id":"207506","description":"

A Princess In Distress

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This one is a fun way to turn expectations on their heads, and can allow the party's ranger to finally see some serious usage. In this case, the "princess" that's gone missing is a goat, and it's needed for a magic ritual.

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A diabolical DM could work all kinds of problems into that simple setup, with everything going wrong and the goat getting into all kinds of dangerous situations. 

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From goblin gangs with fireworks to bear traps to any number of large forest monsters, just simply getting Princess home safe might be a whole adventure on its own.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/2/20200217142516-7524d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/2/20200217142516-7524d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207501","description":"

The Phantom Of Eldberg Contract 

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This contract could be simple to plop into any setting or existing campaign. Some locals the party has interacted with before might go missing, and a haunted lighthouse could need investigating to find the root of the problem.

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The penitent wraith inhabiting the lighthouse could have any number of connections to your existing story, depending on what it misdeeds it needs to atone for.

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An encounter with the penitent wraith might even serve as a warning for players going the murder-hobo route who need to see some possible consequences for their misdeeds.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/2/20200217142516-44ea3.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/2/20200217142516-44ea3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207503","description":"

The Tower Outta Nowheres

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If you've got a druid or a wizard with a penchant for teleportation magic in the group, it will be incredibly easy to hook the party into The Tower Outta Nowheres.

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When the weather goes haywire as a magic tower just poofs into existence, there's no question a group of heroes will need to investigate to calm the frightened locals.

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Assaulting a wizard's tower is a pretty common occurrence, but the twist here is that the wizard needs your help to deal with his defenses gone haywire! After completing the quest, said wizard could serve as a mentor to the party, with the conquered tower a new possible mobile base of operations.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/2/20200217142516-861d6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/2/20200217142516-861d6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207504","description":"

Face Me If You Dare!

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Want to spice up the overland travel scenes or throw a little color into the mix when re-supplying in town? This quest is a great springboard for a recurring nuisance to the party.

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Imagine if Noober from Baldur's Gate wanted to challenge you to personal combat, but kept coming back time and again after leveling up and hiring more guards to even the odds.

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The specific reason for the duel could easily be worked into your main campaign's backstory, as perhaps your group ticked off the wrong tavern owners, town guards, or local guild.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/4/8/248538-84091.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/4/8/248538-84091.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207493","description":"

A Towerful of Mice

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This Witcher 3 side quest is ripe for either an investigative group a combat-heavy group, as the party will need to plan a launch point and then assault an island infested with undead monsters. There's tons of room here to tease the story as each combat encounter is followed by clues as to what happened with the recently-deceased locals.

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The means of telling the story could be switched up to be uncovered through various investigative abilities and wizard / cleric spells, or you could keep it as-is with ghosts re-enacting past events if you want to run this as a spooky Halloween one shot.

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If you've got any aspects of plague or evil wizards running amok in your campaign, A Towerful of Mice is also simple to plop into the existing storyline.

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Recreating the interior of the tower at the center of the island itself as a dungeon to be stomped includes some interesting possibilities for D&D. Rogue abilities for detecting traps and climbing, as well as low level wizard spells like Mage Hand, can be very useful.

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If you want to connect this quest to a larger campaign, introduce characters to take the parts of Annabelle, Alexander, Kiera, and Graham ahead of time. If you're already running a campaign, there's no reason those roles couldn't transition to existing characters your party knows well for a bigger impact.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/2/20200217142516-e1356.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/2/20200217142516-e1356.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207499","description":"

Of Dairy & Darkness

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Really want to throw your players for a loop while injecting some levity and creating a whole host of table in-jokes? This cheese-focused quest is ripe for conversion into a tabletop D&D session. With a little work, tyromancy (divination based on studying cheese mold) could become a whole new way to use magic in your campaign.

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There's a wizard's laboratory to explore, which is a classic RPG trope, but the twist is that its filled with deadly toxic cheese fumes! Protection From Elements and Gust Of Wind might come in handy here, or the party may need to come up with a more creative way to deal with those hazards.

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If you want to include the various lizard, bull, and snake figurines in the quest, they could easily become a Figurine Of Wondrous Power that summons a giant gecko, frilled lizard, snake, or other creepies.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/2/20200217142516-962ca.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/2/20200217142516-962ca.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207502","description":"

Carnal Sins

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Some of the most fun to be had in a fantasy RPG session is when your players discover the cities can be just as dangerous as the dungeons.

\n

If you've got a bard in the party, that player could easily take the role of Dandelion, or any tavern regular the group has interacted with in the past could start the quest instead.

\n

Rather than focusing on a series of combat set pieces, this quest will have the group on the trail of a serial killer but it isn't lacking in classic locations, like a sewer. The morgue and brothel scenes serve as great ways to get characters with lesser-used skills a chance to shine, and it would be simple to work in NPCs the party already cares about as possible victims to save.

\n

For the quest's resolution you could keep the vampire connection, or change it to any bad guy lurking in the background who is killing for any number of reasons connected to your existing campaign storyline.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/i/t/witchcov-3b2c2.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/i/t/witchcov-3b2c2.png","type":"slide","id":"207492","description":"

While there's countless hours of play to be found in The Witcher 3 and its DLC, CD Projekt Red's masterpiece can extend well beyond the PC or console as a springboard for tabletop RPG adventures.

\n

Whether you're a Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition fan or prefer the tried and true Pathfinder, there's a treasure trove of adventure seeds to be found in The Witcher quests.

\n

For those who prefer game rules that more appropriately evoke the feel of Geralt's adventures, there is in fact a licensed pen and paper RPG adaptation of The Witcher out now from R. Taslorian Games.

\n

The writer of that RPG recommends the bedroom exploits of these quests all happen off screen -- but do whatever your group is comfortable with! No matter which system you use (or if you keep in the parts where most groups fade to black), there are some basic ideas to always keep in mind if you want to nail that Witcher feel.

\n

In general, always keep in mind the world doesn't need a hero it needs a professional. Preferably one who looks great in the bath tub and mostly mutters an expletive whenever something happens.

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While most Witcher adventures will revolve around some sort of monstrous menace, directly fighting those creatures shouldn't necessarily be the main focus. Rather, a successful quest should be more about how those monsters have impacted the local people.

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Ready to 'Witch' up your weekly RPG session? Let's take a look at the nine best The Witcher quests to recreate for your D&D campaign!

"}]]]>
DC Comics to Release The Last God D&D Sourcebook https://www.gameskinny.com/0zpt0/dc-comics-to-release-the-last-god-dd-sourcebook https://www.gameskinny.com/0zpt0/dc-comics-to-release-the-last-god-dd-sourcebook Tue, 21 Jan 2020 15:00:03 -0500 Ty Arthur

Thanks to the open game license, an unexpected name is about to release a Dungeons & Dragons sourcebook. DC Comics decided to dip into the pen and paper RPG realm with a book of rules covering the city of Cain Anuun.

The Last God: Tales from the Book of Ages is scheduled to drop on April 29. The 40-page one-shot 5th Edition supplement will set you back $4.99 and will make its appearance at local comic shop retailers, as well as digital storefronts.

DC Comics commented on the release, saying:

In Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Riccardo Federici’s The Last God, the city of Cain Anuun serves as a rich and layered backdrop to a story of fantasy, adventure and horror. The evil armies of the Last God are marching across the mythical city, laying waste to everything in its path and a group of unlikely allies are the last line of defense against absolute destruction.

DC isn't the only company to unexpectedly get into tabletop RPGs lately, as fast-food giant Wendy's released the free Feast Of Legends PDF back in October.

In addition to new primary and third-party book releases, D&D is set to make a major digital return with at least eight games currently in various stages of production.

Right now, the 4-player co-op hack 'n slash Dark Alliance and long-awaited return to roleplaying roots Baldur's Gate 3 are the next video games in the franchise slated for release.

Wondering what current D&D video games are worth your time? We ranked every single one of them in the franchise's 30+ year history from best to worst here!

Back on the tabletop side, Wizards Of The Coast recently confirmed that Explorer's Guide to Wildemount is the next campaign setting hardcover. That tome will bring the homebrew world of the popular Critical Role series into official D&D canon.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and info on Dungeons & Dragons as it develops. 

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Hero Forge 2.0 Blows Through Kickstarter Goal in 20 Minutes https://www.gameskinny.com/hh5pe/hero-forge-20-blows-through-kickstarter-goal-in-20-minutes https://www.gameskinny.com/hh5pe/hero-forge-20-blows-through-kickstarter-goal-in-20-minutes Wed, 15 Jan 2020 17:16:22 -0500 Ty Arthur

The age-old tabletop dilemma of finding the perfect mini for your Pathfinder or D&D character was tackled through the advent of 3D printing via sites like Hero Forge.

While the service has offered customization of various fantasy and sci-fi miniatures for years, a horde of additional options lies on the horizon with Hero Forge 2.0.

The next iteration of this popular mini customizing tool will add pre-colored figurines, as well as an option to have individual minis hand-painted based on your own color scheme.

The new color selections are coming via a crowdfunding campaign, which immediately blew past the original funding goal of $42,000, hitting 2000% of its goal in less than an hour.  As of this writing, the Kickstarter campaign sits at $1.2 million.

That amount has already unlocked 19 stretch goals, including a portrait studio, glass effects, earrings, new magic items, makeup, and other options for customizing minis like tattoos, decals, and clothing patterns. The next stretch goal features tights and masks for superhero-themed units.

Are you planning on funding the campaign, and what customized mini are you going to build? Sound off in the comments below!

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It's Official: The Next D&D Campaign Setting is Coming From Critical Role https://www.gameskinny.com/ix84j/its-official-the-next-dd-campaign-setting-is-coming-from-critical-role https://www.gameskinny.com/ix84j/its-official-the-next-dd-campaign-setting-is-coming-from-critical-role Mon, 13 Jan 2020 13:33:49 -0500 Ty Arthur

Ever since Wizards of the Coast drastically cut back the physical release schedule of 5th Edition D&D, players have been wondering what campaign setting book would be next. If you were expecting a return of famous settings like Dark Sun and Planescape, you're in for a surprise. It turns out that the next official Dungeons & Dragons setting is the homebrew campaign from the Critical Role web series!

An early Amazon pre-order listing page let the cat out of the bag before official confirmation arrived from Wizards Of The Coast today.

Explorer's Guide to Wildemount will arrive March 17 and follows other unexpected forays from D&D lately, like a Magic: The Gathering crossover with the Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica hardcover release.

Here's what Wizards Of The Coast had to say about the upcoming expedition into Wildemount:

A war brews on a continent that has withstood more than its fair share of conflict. The Dwendalian Empire and the Kryn Dynasty are carving up the lands around them, and only the greatest heroes would dare stand between them.

Somewhere in the far corners of this war-torn landscape are secrets that could end this conflict and usher in a new age of peace —or burn the world to a cinder.

The campaign book will include subclasses like the Echo Knight option for the Fighter class, as well as new spells, magic items, and monsters set in Critical Role's second main campaign. 

The tabletop role-playing phenomena is about to see a resurgence on the digital front as well, with the long-awaited Baldur's Gate 3 and the hack 'n slash Dark Alliance coming soon. 

Are you planning on picking up the Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, and was this the D&D 5th Edition campaign setting you were hoping would arrive next? Sound off in the comments below!

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Set Sail On Your Table With Sea of Thieves Roleplaying Game https://www.gameskinny.com/y94eo/set-sail-on-your-table-with-sea-of-thieves-roleplaying-game https://www.gameskinny.com/y94eo/set-sail-on-your-table-with-sea-of-thieves-roleplaying-game Mon, 03 Jun 2019 12:09:31 -0400 Glitchieetv

The hit pirate multiplayer game Sea of Thieves is being developed into a tabletop RPG by Mongoose Publishing. Taking the fast-paced swashbuckling action from the digital world to the physical world, Sea of Thieves Roleplaying Game is designed for masters of tabletop to novices alike. 

Mongoose Publishing states that the game is designed for quick action, problem-solving, and fun using the Avast system. The rules are reportedly simple and easy to follow, which the developers say makes it perfect for casual players.

Players will race other pirates for treasure, fight Skeleton Captains, brave Megalodons, and set out on Voyages for the Order of Souls.

There is a box set available for $76, or the rules can be downloaded as a PDF for $38. 

Included in the box set are:

  • Book of Pirates: Teaches you all you need to know to play on the high seas
  • Lore of the Sea: A rundown on how to create voyages and what plunder awaits in Sea of Thieves
  • Book of Voyages: A complete campaign revolving around the quest for the Ashen Jewel
  • The Sea of Thieves Poster Map: A giant map showing every island in the game
  • Pirate Ledgers: Cards that show what you are carrying and how close you are to becoming a pirate legend
  • Legendary Dice
  • Supply Tokens, Quest Cards, and Weapons Cards: Everything needed to set sail, fight enemies, and return with troves of loot
  • Lord Guardian Sails: An exclusive bonus of the boxed set, a download code is included for the Sea of Thieves video game for the Lord Guardian Sails

The expected shipping date for the box set is October, with instant access granted for PDF purchases. Dice can be purchased separately. Learn more about the game by visiting its official website.  

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Free RPG Day 2019 Guide: What to Get and Where to Get It https://www.gameskinny.com/hfd8o/free-rpg-day-2019-guide-what-to-get-and-where-to-get-it https://www.gameskinny.com/hfd8o/free-rpg-day-2019-guide-what-to-get-and-where-to-get-it Fri, 31 May 2019 14:00:02 -0400 Ty Arthur

Want to see what's new in the world of tabletop gaming without spend and arm and a leg on a bunch of hard cover books? Free RPG Day is coming soon, and it can serve as a springboard to radically expand your gaming group's normal lineup of systems.

While it won't affect the lineup for this year, there are changes coming to the annual gaming celebration as Free RPG Day was officially acquired by Gaming Days LLC recently.

While we wait on what news that acquisition brings, for now we can ooh and aah at all the free gaming goodies that have been announced for the 2019 iteration, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 15th at your local game shop.

Can't make it to a local store to pick these up, or not interested in the lineup included below? There are plenty of epic free modules for D&D, Pathfinder, and every other pen and paper RPG system out there available for download any day of the year. Check out our best roundups here:

Free RPG Day 2019 Publishers

Make sure you know what you want to grab ahead of time, as each store gets a limited number of copies of each product, so its best to have a plan of attack before you enter the doors!

All the other names you'd expect from previous years make an appearance here in 2019, sans Lamentations Of The Flame Princess, which some may find understandable.

Don't forget that while these products are free for you, each store has to pay for the Free RPG Day box, so make sure to show some support and consider picking up something else from your local game store!

Paizo

           

We'll start off with the big dog in the race. While Pathfinder 2nd edition has divided the fan base, its safe to say Paizo is still among the top tier of RPG publishers at this point.

Of course Paizo has another We Be Goblins entry this year, and if I'm going to be honest, its starting to feel like this series has run its course. Those first couple of modules were a breath of fresh air that allowed roleplaying groups to let loose and play insane singing goblins for one-off sessions, but it seems like the quality of the series has gone downhill with subsequent iterations and the joke has pretty well played out at this point. Maybe We Be Heroes will revive the franchise?

In addition to the adventure module, Paizo is dropping an 8 page storybook with goblin characters for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game this year. 

If you aren't keen on making yet another goblin song and getting messily devoured by anything bigger than you, there will also be a new Starfinder entry for Paizo's sci-fi spin off.

R. Talsorian Games

After Paizo, this is probably what RPG fans are most looking forward to checking out for Free RPG Day 2019 -- quick start rules for a Witcher RPG!

If you want to jump into the Interlock system used to power The Witcher in tabletop mode, this 24 page book gives you a simplified version of the rules to get start.

This is from the same company making the Cyberpunk Red tabletop RPG (and yes, its connected to the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 that will be released at some point between now and the year the earth plunges into the sun).

Green Ronin

If you haven't tried out the Adventure Game Engine (AGE) rules yet, Green Ronin is offering up a quick start guide for the Modern Age system, which as the name implies is the modern day offshoot of the fantasy version.

Since there aren't that  many publishers focusing on modern day games lately, this is a great one to pick up if you want to expand your gaming group's horizons past the typical fantasy, sci-fi, and horror.

Goodman Games

          

That Dungeon Crawl Classics cover on the left may look awfully familiar, and that's because this two-sided product contains the quick start rules from last year (although with an updated spell list) on the front.

If you flip it over, the opposite side is a brand new adventure for level 1 characters titled Geas of the Star-ChonsIf you've already got the quick start rules, that's really the only reason to grab this one, since the half the book will be nearly identical to what Goodman Games released in 2018.

Renegade Game Studios

                      

Following last year's look at the groundbreaking and non-traditional Overlight, for 2019 Renegade is radically shifting gears with two entries.

Want to roleplay in the grim future where the undead have overrun humanity? The quick start intro rules for survival horror game Outbreak Undead will help you decide if you want to pick up the full rule books.

On the total opposite end of the gaming spectrum, there's also a new free adventure for Kids On Bikes, which is exactly what it sounds like as kids from small towns go on big adventures.

Khepera Publishing

Not a fan of the normal D20-based systems? Khepera has a D6 rule set that serves as spiritual successor to those iconic West End Game titles from decades past. There will only be 5 of these quick start rule books sent to each store however, so grab it quick if you see one still out on the table!

Pelgrane Press

Pelgrane has a double product this year, but sadly there will only be 3 per box sent to stores, so its unlikely you'll be able to grab one unless you are the first person in the store.

The first half is a tale for the 13th Age fantasy system, while the second will appeal to the horror fans.

That half includes a story for the company's newer King In Yellow RPG based on the famous Robert Chambers mythos character (who hit the public consciousness pretty widely back in 2014 with that first season of True Detective). 

King In Yellow uses an updated version of the GUMSHOE rules, so if you played Trail Of Cthulhu, you already know the basics.

Seven Thebes

Prefer historical settings over high fantasy universes? Land Of Myth features only human characters in ancient Greece, and while it does include a host of gods and magic abilities, it tends to focus more on characters than fantasy powers. Best of all? It's meant to be fifth edition compatible, so your group can jump right in.

Slugfest Games

While I haven't kept up with the latest expansions, Red Dragon Inn remains one of my favorite board games, and its a hell of a good time even when drinking with a group of people who don't normally play RPGs.

Slugfest is offering up a new card to add to the pile this year, but unfortunately there will only be ONE of these cards sent per store, so don't expect to be able to grab it.

Q-Workshop

The ever-reliable Q-Workshop is including 15 sets of these black and silver Starfinder themed dice per store. I'd expect them to get snatched up quick, so you'll want to show up early if you plan on getting your own set!

Aside from what was covered above, there will of course also be the annual t-shirt and Chessex Free RPG Day branded dice, but the quantities are extremely limited and will probably be taken by the store owners (and hey, they earned 'em by buying the box).

What are you most excited about grabbing this year, and which products are you going to avoid? Sound off in the comments below, and see you at the game store on June 15th!

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Football Fantasy Interview: Turning Football Into A Tabletop RPG https://www.gameskinny.com/615n6/football-fantasy-interview-turning-football-into-a-tabletop-rpg https://www.gameskinny.com/615n6/football-fantasy-interview-turning-football-into-a-tabletop-rpg Mon, 08 Apr 2019 16:11:27 -0400 RobotsFightingDinosaurs

Gaming and nerd culture has come a long way since the 1980s. Hobbies like video games, cosplay, and tabletop RPGs are now mainstream parts of modern life, almost completely accepted into the larger tapestry of pop culture as a whole. That said, there's still a little bit of culture shock when the less nerdy reveal a secret love for Dungeons & Dragons.

So it might surprise you to know that a Kickstarter campaign that sought to combine gridiron football with Dungeons & Dragons in a single ruleset zine met its funding goal and is now moving forward. For fans of both, the appeal is obvious.

There's a wealth of created sports in fictional worlds where magic is woven into normal society, from Harry Potter's quidditch to Final Fantasy's blitzball to The Legend of Korra's pro-bending, each capturing folks' imagination by introducing magical elements to sport. So why not do the same with football?

Read on for our interview with Football Fantasy creator Samuel Ashton Roberts!

GS: What inspired the RPG in the first place? How did you get the idea to mash up football and tabletop RPG gaming?

Samuel Ashton Roberts: As a longtime fan of both football and Dungeons & Dragons, I have experimented with mixing the two for a long time. I've run football themed combats, puzzles that required football moves to complete, and integrated other elements in campaigns I have run over the years. I also played a fair amount of Blood Bowl as a young man, and like the general idea of exploring a game like football with the speculative fiction of fantasy and science fiction worlds.

In my 20's my Sundays were watching NFL games all day and playing D&D all night, so it seemed an appropriate thing to explore. I am particularly interested in rule sets that inspire creative and amazing play from humans, and both D&D and football do that.

Without getting in the weeds too much, what was it like to adapt these rules so that they fit well? Football is one of the most complicated sports out there, and Dungeons & Dragons is one of the most complicated tabletop games out there. Was it as much of a hassle as it seems like it'd be to make the two dovetail?

It was about figuring out what parts of each experience I was interested in - there are parts of both that are very tactical and about moment to moment decision making.

For the core of the zine, I focus on those, and that adaptation took some tinkering with, but I was able to find what I believe to be a satisfying place where they combine and feed each other. I focused around the choices of play calling and route running as seen through the turn-based D&D tactical combat, as there is a satisfying core of D&D that can create the sort of field leverage choices that we are regularly confronted with in football.

The rest of the zine is sort of how the rest of both games (outside moment to moment conflict between players on the field for football / outside of combat situations for D&D) can inform one another and be used together - i.e. what does a football themed campaign look like for D&D, what is a player class for a football player, what do football stats look like, who could be a football encounter or NPC, etc..

Since the Kickstarter was successful, it seems like you found an audience, even for a product like this, that could seem niche from the outside. What did you do to find your audience, and who do you think your audience is?

I think my audience is fans of Bloodbowl, and old school D&D fans who also like football. Mostly I tweeted promotionally about the zine, and I tried to recruit or reach influencers with a known interest in both. A few retweets from them, plus regular, steady promotion on my side and the reach of Kickstarter as a platform helped me find that fairly niche audience.

What was development like in terms of balancing everything in a way where the entire play group can have fun? Football is a sport that's defined usually by individual play, spurred on by a supporting cast that doesn't get much credit. How has that translated into an RPG where the spotlight is shared?

This is a fabulous question. The balancing came into making sure that non-QB players have a significant effect on the 'field.' The rules are structured so that when the throw happens, every player's position is a factor in determining the success or failure of the throw and the end result. Making sure each position had an effect that felt equal was the most difficult balancing act, as well as making sure that players who acted 'after' the throw had meaningful choices to make.

How has the game changed over its development?

Not a ton - the original rules had deep rulings and structures for magic on the field, but I decided to let a 'league' determine what was legal and not, and then simply adjudicate the physical effects of magic spells under the same rules. Also, as the content is being finalized, I'm finding that there is a depth to league creating and NPC creating that I am finding engaging, and I have built the zine to include more of that (without abandoning the system core.)

What is your dream scenario, in terms of people playing your game, or integrating it into an already-existing campaign? What do you want to see people doing with the rules you have created?

I would love to see someone start a football themed D&D campaign, where the players all work for a team or league. I expect more one-offs where an adventure is football themed, or DMs leverage the rules to have an encounter that is a football game in their current campaigns.

-------

Popular shows, streams, and podcasts like Critical Role, The Adventure Zone, and Stranger Things have brought the world of tabletop gaming to a constantly growing, diverse audience.

It bodes well for the future that endlessly creative and enterprising folks like Samuel Ashton Roberts (and countless others!) are creating rulesets that riff on and augment the standard D&D rules to cater to fans of different genres (Check out the one-pager subreddit, you won't be disappointed).

At the end of the day, Football Fantasy isn't the biggest or most ambitious project on Kickstarter, but it's a unique collaboration of two things most would think is impossible -- and its success is a very good sign for dungeon masters and adventurers alike.

Many thanks to Samuel Ashton Roberts for the interview, and best of luck to Football Fantasy when it releases into the wild!

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Famed RPG Designer Greg Stafford Dies At 70 https://www.gameskinny.com/43ufz/famed-rpg-designer-greg-stafford-dies-at-70 https://www.gameskinny.com/43ufz/famed-rpg-designer-greg-stafford-dies-at-70 Sat, 13 Oct 2018 12:20:19 -0400 William R. Parks

Chaosium has confirmed the passing of their company founder, Greg Stafford. He was 70 years old.

"As one of the greatest game designers of all time; winner of too many awards to count; and a friend, mentor, guide, and inspiration to generations of gamers, "the Grand Shaman of Gaming" influenced the universe of tabletop gaming beyond measure," Chaosium's blog post reads.

Stafford created Chaosium in 1975 to publish and market his first professional board game, White Bear and Red Moon.

This game was set in Stafford's fictional universe Glorantha, and, in 1978, Steve Perrin used Glorantha as the foundation of his tabletop-RPG RuneQuest. Published by Chaosium, RuneQuest built an infrastructure of mechanics that would be used in many other games.

In 1980, Stafford and Lynn Willis released Basic Role-Playing as part of the second edition of RuneQuest. This booklet outlined a skill system wherein players would roll percentile dice to determine if an action is successful.

This system would become the foundation for many of the "d100" games Chaosium would publish thereafter, including Stormbringer (1981), Elfquest (1984), and, perhaps most famously, Call of Cthulhu (1981).

This game, based on H.P. Lovecraft's The Call of Cthulhu (written in 1926), remains one of Chaosium's most popular releases and is currently in its seventh edition.

Outside of gaming, Stafford was a practicing shaman.

"He died as he lived," Chaosium's blog post states, "on a spiritual quest of enlightenment."

Chaosium has created a Condolence Thread at BRP Central for those that wish to celebrate and remember Stafford.

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The 11 Best Free Pathfinder and D&D Adventure Modules https://www.gameskinny.com/sjcgb/the-11-best-free-pathfinder-and-dd-adventure-modules https://www.gameskinny.com/sjcgb/the-11-best-free-pathfinder-and-dd-adventure-modules Thu, 19 Apr 2018 16:08:34 -0400 Ty Arthur

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Are you planning on running any of these killer free D&D/Pathfinder adventure modules with your gaming group? Let us know how it goes in the comments below, and be sure to drop us a line with your recommendations for other adventures we should add to the list!

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Of course, tabletop gaming has a lot more to offer than just what Paizo and Wizards of the Coast are selling. If your group prefers a different kind of game, you can find 12 more phenomenal free modules from a wider range of roleplaying systems by heading over here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/2/9/229131-44e14.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/2/9/229131-44e14.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182665","description":"

The Expedition of the Magi

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  • System: D&D 5th Edition
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  • Pay-What-You-Want Download: Here
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Props have to be given to this adventure for putting a Forgotten Realms twist on a classic story. While part of a caravan in the deserts of Zakhara, the party comes across three camel-riding sages looking for a new king to be born during a planar convergence marked by celestial signs. If you've ever wanted to run a Christmas adventure where you battle planar monstrosities and wrestle with mummies, then get on downloading already!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/i/n/mindblast-221bd.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/i/n/mindblast-221bd.png","type":"slide","id":"182664","description":"

Mind Blast

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  • System: D&D 5th Edition
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  • Free Download: Here
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This killer fan-made module was crafted for ENWorld’s D&D Next adventure contest a few years back. The idea was to incorporate as many different concepts from the 5th Edition rules as possible into a fun and playable module, and it succeeds to an astounding degree.

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There's a lot of fun for both the players and the DM when entering areas affected by the mind fog, where characters can be possessed by entirely new personalities!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/o/stomrkingsthunder-7b02b.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/o/stomrkingsthunder-7b02b.png","type":"slide","id":"182655","description":"

Storm King's Thunder: A Great Upheaval

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  • System: D&D 5th Edition
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  • Free Download: Here
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An introduction to the 5th Edition mega-adventure Storm King's Thunder, free module A Great Upheaval introduces players to 5th Edition and gets you in the proper giant-fighting mood if you want to move onto the main campaign.

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For a free module meant to get you to buy a book, there's a surprising level of quality here, and lots of opportunities for the party to level up a bit before moving onto more dangerous giant encounters.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/h/y/khyber-bbbfe.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/h/y/khyber-bbbfe.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182667","description":"

Khyber's Harvest

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    \n
  • System: D&D 4th Edition
  • \n
  • Free Download: Here
  • \n
\n

Does anybody still play 4th Edition anymore? Well, if you do, there are free adventures out there, and some of them are straight form Wizards of the Coast, so you can expect fairly high quality. This one takes place in the Eberron setting, and while it does railroad the party pretty hard, it has a great mix of combat and trap encounters that work well within the 4th Edition framework.

\n

 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/4/5/5/455ad79dc316094.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/4/5/5/455ad79dc316094.png","type":"slide","id":"182659","description":"

A Question of Ethics

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    \n
  • System: D&D 3.5
  • \n
  • Free Download: Here
  • \n
\n

Once upon a time, Wizards of the Coast had a big list of free adventures by professional game designers that, sadly, was nixed as the company went through some big changes switching to 4th and then eventually 5th edition.

\n

Thankfully, the Internet never forgets, though, and the Wayback Machine still has snapshots of that page where many of the download links still actually work! The full list can be found here.

\n

One of my personal favorites from that list was A Question of Ethics by Monte Cook, in which the party discovers a group of adventurers planning on unleashing a plague on a nearby tribe of stone giants.

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The group has to grapple with some moral choices and then decide whether to side with the giants, who might be a threat in the future, or the adventurers, who are committing a war crime against giants who have done nothing wrong ... yet.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/r/heroesofthronwall-396fd.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/r/heroesofthronwall-396fd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182662","description":"

Heroes of Thornwall

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    \n
  • System: Pathfinder 
  • \n
  • Free Download: Here
  • \n
\n

For a free release from a smaller publisher, the production values on Heroes of Thornwall are exceptionally high. While there is a full adventure here, the PDF itself is really more of a campaign starter kit, featuring full info on an entire city and its major characters, along with some stunning maps and artwork. The free PDF is a must-download, but this is one of those products that's also worth picking up as a paid physical copy as well.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/u/r/burning-347bc.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/u/r/burning-347bc.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182661","description":"

The Burning Goblins

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    \n
  • System: Pathfinder & 5th Edition
  • \n
  • Free Download: Here
  • \n
\n

Man, we roleplayers just love our goblins, apparently. This one doesn't have you playing as the little monsters, though, and instead puts you against them (as nature intended!).

\n

At 57 pages, The Burning Goblins is longer than many paid adventures, and it has a bunch of fabulous advice for new DMs. Best of all, you don't have to pick between systems, as this adventure is compatible with both Pathfinder and D&D 5th Edition.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/l/hollow-13440.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/l/hollow-13440.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182657","description":"

Hollow's Last Hope

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    \n
  • System: Pathfinder (3.5 OGL)
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  • Free Download: Here
  • \n
\n

This particular module actually arrived before Pathfinder had its own rule set, so it still uses the base 3.5 OGL rules.

\n

Although quite short at only 16 pages, this is a killer adventure for a new group of gamers just getting used to the Golarion setting, and it works incredibly well as a prelude to Crown of the Kobold King if you want to keep going with other Paizo adventures set in the Darkmoon Vale area.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/e/b/webe2-125e8.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/e/b/webe2-125e8.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"182658","description":"

We Be Goblins Too!

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    \n
  • System: Pathfinder
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  • Free Download: Here
  • \n
\n

There's a very good reason this series is so well-regarded and why Paizo is so obsessed with these evil little buggers.

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Sadly, they would take a bit of a dive on the quality and fun in future installments (fingers crossed the impending fifth entry rectifies that problem), but We Be Goblins Too! is still a strong entry in this franchise of free mini-adventures.

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While the first entry had bungling goblins searching for dangerous fireworks, this one has a new group of cannon fodder going through extremely deadly trials in an attempt to join a new tribe when their home is wiped out.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/e/b/webegoblins-02f6f.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/e/b/webegoblins-02f6f.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"182654","description":"

We Be Goblins

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    \n
  • System: Pathfinder
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  • Free Download: Here
  • \n
\n

We're now up to the fifth entry in this ongoing series of beloved Free RPG Day modules from Paizo, but the original still stands head and shoulders above the competition (which isn't hard, since they're goblins).

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This is the famous free Pathfinder adventure that kicked off the craze of playing maniacal, homicidal, lyrical, pyromaniac goblins. Seven years later, fans of the system love the concept so much that goblin is now going to be a base racial option in the impending Pathfinder 2nd Edition.

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Very much a tongue-in-cheek affair, We Be Goblins is a lot more fun if you play it for full silliness effect like a game of Paranoia, where a new goblin appears to replace an old one as soon as a player's character dies -- and they will die, a lot. Fireworks mishaps, stomping horses, angry tribal chiefs, wilderness dangers ... when you are three feet tall, carrying highly flammable material, and have a total lack of impulse control, then doom is always just around the corner.

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There are pregenerated characters to use, but don't neglect having your players come up with their own goblin rhymes that use their character names! That should be the biggest part of character creation to really get your group into the murderous goblin nonsense.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/i/l/village-533ac.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/i/l/village-533ac.png","type":"slide","id":"182656","description":"

The Village With No Name

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  • System: AD&D 
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  • Free Download: Here
  • \n
\n

What the heck ... there are still old AD&D adventures getting made? Yep, there sure are, thanks to devoted fans and game designers at Dragonsfoot. Dozens of old-school modules are available to download there, so if you still like to kick it with classic AD&D, then do yourself a favor and browse their site to your heart's content!

\n

This particular free module is for low-level characters and exemplifies everything that's great about low-powered campaigns -- evil bandits, charming rogues, and a poor village in need of help from wandering adventurers.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/v/cov-07260.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/v/cov-07260.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182653","description":"

While Pathfinder may have usurped the crown of tabletop roleplaying in the 3.5 era, Dungeons & Dragons made a strong comeback with the well-received 5th Edition as Paizo and Wizards Of The Coast continue to vie for the RPG throne.

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No matter what system or edition you play, there's always a need for more adventure modules, whether to run as one-offs or just to mine for ideas in your own larger campaigns.

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If you don't feel like throwing down a bunch of money on printed adventures that your group may not care about, there's a treasure trove of free D&D adventures out there ... if you know where to look!

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We've sifted through hundreds of them to come up with the 11 best completely free Pathfinder and Dungeons & Dungeons modules available as PDF downloads.

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Looking for adventure modules for other systems besides these two behemoths of the industry? Check out our list of the 12 best free non-D&D adventures here.

"}]]]>
The Best Free PDF RPG Adventure Modules That Aren't D&D https://www.gameskinny.com/4n9kg/the-best-free-pdf-rpg-adventure-modules-that-arent-dd https://www.gameskinny.com/4n9kg/the-best-free-pdf-rpg-adventure-modules-that-arent-dd Wed, 18 Apr 2018 15:50:02 -0400 Ty Arthur

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/c/backcov-ad1c2.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/c/backcov-ad1c2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182618","description":"

Hopefully you'll find something your group can't wait to play in these 12 free PDF RPG adventure modules! What did you think of our list, and what modules are you planning on playing first?

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Know of any other killer free RPG adventures we should be checking out for any system, from Discworld to Warhammer 40,000 and everything in-between? Let us know your favorite free RPG download in the comments below!

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For those who stick more closely to the big dogs like Paizo and Wizards of the Coast, stay tuned for our list of free Pathfinder adventures and free D&D modules coming shortly!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/t/saturday-e98e2.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/t/saturday-e98e2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182652","description":"

Saturday Night '78

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  • System: Fiasco
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  • Free Download: Here
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There's a certain subset of tabletop gamers who will try to argue that Fiasco isn't actually an RPG. Those people are flat-out wrong. If everyone takes on the role of a character, describes what those characters are doing while trying to get to an outcome, and dice are rolled, then it's unquestionably an RPG.

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Now that we've gotten that out of the way, there are plenty of free playsets available online to get new Fiasco games going that fully channel the darkly comedic feel of the Coen brothers. Saturday Night '78 is one such playset in the era of Studio 54 and the Son of Sam killings.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/m/p/empires-ca835.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/m/p/empires-ca835.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182627","description":"

Empires Aflame

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    \n
  • System: Battletech (A Time Of War)
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  • Free Download: Here
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\n

This free adventure for the A Time of War tabletop RPG from Catalyst goes a very different direction by jumping into an alternate timeline.

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Everything you think you know about Battletech history gets turned upside down in this alternate universe, allowing the group quite a bit of freedom in straying from established canon.

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This one is especially worth diving into now that the Harebrained Schemes PC game version of the franchise is just about to see release and Battletech mania is again setting in.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/d/g/edge-c9ad2.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/d/g/edge-c9ad2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182624","description":"

Edge of Darkness

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  • System: Dark Heresy
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  • Free Download: Here
  • \n
\n

Sadly, Dark Heresy is no more as Fantasy Flight lost the license for Warhammer 40,000 RPGs, but publisher Ulisses Spiele has picked it up and is currently working on a new version of the game.

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In the meantime, some of the old PDFs are still available now through Ulisses Spiele, such as the free adventure Edge of Darkness. This one works well as an introduction for new players into the Warhammer 40K universe and features a good mix of investigation for the Inquisition and some good old-fashioned heretic-purging.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/i/j/dijscworld-d47c2.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/i/j/dijscworld-d47c2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182623","description":"

Watch Academy VI: Hogswatchnight First Patrol

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    \n
  • System: Discworld GURPS/Over The Edge
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  • Free Web-Based Module: Here
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\n

Oh boy, this one is as silly as it gets, and if you love Discworld, you'll want to jump in and try it out, preferably around Christmastime. There are stupid barbarians with muscles on their muscles, an adorable little girl who is somehow also a town watchman, and a diabolic plot to place possessed plush toys in all the homes of Ankh Morpork on Hogswatchnight. Get drunk, pull out your best accents and overacting, and have a good time!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/i/scion-873ea.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/i/scion-873ea.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182621","description":"

Of Shadows Yet To Come

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    \n
  • System: Scion
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  • Free Download: Here
  • \n
\n

White Wolf pretty consistently put out roleplaying material that went in unexpected directions well outside the sword & sorcery norm, and Scion is no exception, having the players take on the roles of demi-gods and the children of various deities in a modern-day setting.

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If your group loved the Starz TV version of American Gods, they will have a killer time here, and this intro module showcases the system well so that you can then dive in with your own custom godlings in future campaigns.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/r/porphy-d698e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/r/porphy-d698e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182651","description":"

Penelope Love's Porphyry & Asphodel

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    \n
  • System: Cthulhu Reborn
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  • Free Download: Here
  • \n
\n

While most Call Of Cthulhu scenarios focus on a group of investigators delving into a mystery and slowly losing their minds before being messily devoured, this odd adventure goes full throttle into insanity right away by taking place in the Dreamlands.

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Porphyry & Asphodel is unbelievably surreal and utterly nuts, and I highly recommend you give it a try. The link above goes to an updated version that has been expanded and fleshed out since the module was originally written back in the '90s.

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There are a huge number of free Call Of Cthulhu/Trail Of Cthulhu/Cthulhu Reborn/Cthulhu Invictus/Cthulhu Dark Ages scenarios out there besides this one. A good place to start is to hit up a site like RPG Now, filter by your preferred publisher, and set the search terms to "pay what you want." 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/o/goodman-3a638.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/o/goodman-3a638.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182619","description":"

The Madhouse Meet/The Museum at the End of Time

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    \n
  • System: Dungeon Crawl Classics Lankhmar/Mutant Crawl Classics
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  • Free Download: Here
  • \n
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This two-for-the-price-of-nothing offering from Goodman Games gives you a classic fantasy romp in the Lankhmar setting made famous by Fritz Leiber, as well as a post-apocalyptic adventure embodying the classic tropes of super science and murderous robots.

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Both of these modules cleave closely to classic ideas like being captured by a mad wizard or going through a rite of passage in a radioactive wasteland, but they present their familiar concepts with quite a bit of finesse (and fun).

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If you dig Gamma World or Fallout, then it's a good bet your group will have fun with The Museum at the End of Time in particular.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/s/t/astar-bdc0f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/s/t/astar-bdc0f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182626","description":"

A Star Once Fallen

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    \n
  • System: Open Legend
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  • Free Download: Here
  • \n
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Incredibly friendly to new players, A Star Once Fallen introduces a gaming group to the open-source RPG Open Legend by thrusting the players into a shipwreck scenario on an uncharted island. Adventure and danger abound as they try to survive between warring tribes and an active volcano.

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Rules are introduced progressively throughout the adventure, so even if you've never played Open Legend before, a group can easily pick this up and get started without much prep at all.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/0/6/106035-bda1f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/0/6/106035-bda1f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182650","description":"

Fools Rush In

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    \n
  • System: Iron Kingdoms
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  • Free Download: Here
  • \n
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If you haven't gotten into full metal fantasy just yet, do yourself a favor and pick up that Iron Kingdoms core rule book (or the Unleashed spin-off that focuses on monstrous races). The production values are off the charts on this one, and the Steamjacks-meet-magic world is a thing of absolute beauty.

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To get started in this unique world, Fools Rush In has the characters engage in a heist to get back an object of blackmail, culminating with a crazy waterfront brawl.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/o/d/modular-bc1df.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/o/d/modular-bc1df.png","type":"slide","id":"182616","description":"

Taming the Dragon

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    \n
  • System: Edge of the Empire
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  • Free Download: Here
  • \n
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The Suns of Fortune source book from Fantasy Flight Games covers the Corellian Sector of Star Wars lore and features nine different modular encounters meant to be quickly dropped into a campaign.

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One of those modular encounters, Taming the Dragon, was released for free to the public as a PDF and throws your group of rebel scum into an underground illegal swoop race.

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For some quick, high-octane fun with all sorts of unexpected dangers, you can't go wrong by throwing this encounter into your Star Wars roleplaying session.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/e/t/betterthananyman-90bc0.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/e/t/betterthananyman-90bc0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182615","description":"

Better Than Any Man

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  • System: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
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  • Pay-What-You-Want Download: Here (note that you must be logged in with a DriveThruRPG account to even see this one as it has adult content)
  • \n
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You can always count on Lamentations of the Flame Princess to go a direction that you weren't expecting -- and probably tick off a whole bunch of people along the way.

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In 2017 they released a free hardcover book of new spells called Vaginas Are Magic. This year's Free RPG Day offering is titled James Edward Raggi IV's Eldritch Cock. Needless to say, this weird dark fantasy/horror mashup is on the NSFW side.

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Better Than Any Man was a free adventure released in 2013 meant to introduce people to LotFP's blend of old-school fantasy with Cthulhoid monstrosities, and it's really incredibly well done for something that doesn't cost a penny.

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Set in the Holy Roman Empire during the Thirty Years' War, this massive 180-page (!!) adventure is incredibly fleshed out and features a sandbox style that lets the PCs do what they want ... so long as they get it done before the invading army arrives and kills everyone.

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After a bunch of retailers and more traditional roleplayers got angry and accused the module of being about killing kids, the Lamentations of the Flame Princess publisher decided to thumb their nose at the naysayers and make a module that's *actually* all about killing kids.

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The Doom-Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children is essentially Skyrim with the "kids can die" mod on steroids. If that sounds like something your group would have a good time with, you can grab the PDF of that amusingly offensive adventure for free over here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/g/sagagoblin-3c780.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/g/sagagoblin-3c780.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182620","description":"

Saga of the Goblin Horde

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  • System: Savage Worlds
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  • Free Download: Here
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Much like We Be Goblins, this super fun adventure has the group playing tiny anti-heroes, but it goes in a very different direction than Paizo's hallowed entry. This one is a good deal more brutal and has far more crazy options, like fungus-powered mutant psionic goblins.

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This one is also much, much more in-depth, with more than 100 pages on goblin tribes, deities, and adventure seeds. I recommend trying out both Saga of the Goblin Horde and We Be Goblins to see which one is more well received at your gaming table.

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Between all those $60 hardcover books, extra Kickstarter add-ons, and crazy dice options, tabletop roleplaying can be a fairly expensive hobby.

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If you aren't crazy about laying down even more cash for adventure modules and are looking for inspiration to kick off a new campaign, there are plenty of completely free PDF adventures out there for just about every system imaginable.

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While Free RPG Day features a yearly supply of quality modules and source books, that is by no means the only source for no-cost RPG adventure downloads.

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Here we're rounding up some of the best zero-dollar digital modules currently available for Savage Worlds, GURPS, Dark Heresy, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, Edge of the Empire, Dungeon Crawl Classics, and even more systems.

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You may notice a curious lack of Paizo, TSR, and Wizards Of The Coast here. That's because we're going to feature a separate list of entirely free Pathfinder/D&D modules shortly -- so stay tuned!

"}]]]>
Free RPG Day 2018 -- Everything You Need to Know to Get Your Free Books https://www.gameskinny.com/ikvbh/free-rpg-day-2018-everything-you-need-to-know-to-get-your-free-books https://www.gameskinny.com/ikvbh/free-rpg-day-2018-everything-you-need-to-know-to-get-your-free-books Wed, 18 Apr 2018 11:50:44 -0400 Ty Arthur

Gaming isn't a static hobby that just takes place in front of the monitor or TV with a controller in hand. While we love rounds of Fortnite and dive into the latest Call Of Duty just as often as the next gamer, there's always room for the tabletop varieties as well when friends get together to socialize on the weekends.

There's a pretty expansive definition of what exactly constitutes "gaming" that covers a huge range of options, from cross-platform games that leap back and forth between the video screen and the tabletop to ongoing video game-based comic series and collectible card games.

No matter what your preferred method of play looks like, 2018 is a momentous year for tabletop gamers, as Magic: The Gathering turns 25 and Pathfinder finally begins testing a long-awaited (and long-dreaded) second edition this coming summer.

While it can be an expensive pastime, there is a reliable, no-cost way to jump into tabletop gaming as local hobby stores participate in the celebration that is Free RPG Day every summer!

Free RPG Day 2018 Publishers

This year's rendition of the gaming holiday is slated for Saturday, June 16, 2018, and we've already got a sneak preview of all the books, cards, and dice that will be available completely for free!

Winners of the Annual Gen Con EN World RPG Awards (or ENnie Awards) tend to include products here each year, so if you want to try out a different system before laying down the cash for a bunch of expensive hardcover books, this is a great way to get started.

While some retailers will let you grab multiple products, or even one book from each publisher, others are a bit more stingy and limit it to one free item per customer. To get the best books or dice before they run out, you want to have a plan of attack before you head into the store and know which item you are most interested in ahead of time.

Paizo

The king of tabletop RPGs is hitting Free RPG Day hard this year with three separate products, including the return of a fan favorite.

I've got very fond memories of running the first We Be Goblins free adventure back in 2011, with each member of of my gaming group coming up with their own absurd goblin rhyme as part of character creation. The party managed to blow themselves up with fireworks, get messily eaten by giant spiders, die in quicksand, and just cause all-around mayhem while hopelessly trying to prove themselves goblin heroes.

We get to relive that silly glory once again with We Be 5upergoblins, an apparently aerial adventure for fourth-level goblin pyromaniacs. Now that Paizo also has the sci-fi Starfinder RPG available, an adventure called Skitter Shot will be included that very much looks like a futuristic version of We Be Goblins. I can only imagine the sorts of shenanigans that chaotic evil goblins could get into with lasers and starships.

Finally, Paizo will round out this year's free offerings with a Pathfinder Adventure card pack, including new goblin character Nok-Nok.

Sadly, it doesn't look like any of these releases will include Pathfinder 2nd Edition rules, as the playtest will just be getting going at that point in the summer.

Goodman Games

While probably best known for the super retro Dungeon Crawl Classics series, Goodman Games has some amazingly awesome settings that are way off the beaten path and well worth checking out, like DragonMech, Etherscope, and Xcrawl.

We're getting two Free RPG Day entries from Goodman this year, including Quick Start rules and a mini adventure for Dungeon Crawl Classics, as well as Beneath the Keep, a new third-party adventure for D&D Fifth Edition.

Atlas Games

Atlas is resurrecting an old cult classic that is just now seeing a resurgence and starting to get the recognition it deserves this year. If your knowledge of modern-day horror RPGs begins and ends with Call of Cthulhu, you owe it to yourself to check out Unknown Armies.

Those classic original rulebooks go for quite a bit on Amazon and eBay these days, but the newer third edition is a bit more reasonably priced with PDFs and physical books.

To get acquainted with this occult game about broken people conspiring to fix the world, be sure to check out the free adventure/source book Maria in Three Parts.

Q-Workshop/Chessex

It's sort of hard to believe I'm typing this, but yes, there will even be free dice this year, which is pretty monumental and must be costing everyone quite a bit in production and shipping!

Q-Workshop is offering up a set of 15 unique, Viking-inspired dice with each Free RPG Day package, and they look amazing. Expect these to go fast and to be limited to only one per customer, so show up early and try to nab one while you can.

Chessex will also be offering commemorative red 6-sided dice with the "12th Annual Free RPG Day" logo etched on them. Obviously these are less useful since they don't have regular numbers, but they're a nifty way to mark the holiday. 

If you miss out on your chance to grab one of these, there are plenty of other stunning dice sets out there -- check out our list of the most amazing dice sets to buy for the gaming fanatic in your life (it shouldn't be much of a surprise that several of them are also from Q-Workshop).

Steve Jackson Games

While I've been a been a fanatic for the ultra-silly Toon RPG since I was a kid, there's no question that Steve Jackson's flagship games are the universal GURPS, alongside the tongue-in-cheek Munchkin line of CCGs.

The latter is where Steve Jackson is putting the focus for this year's Free RPG Day, with a new card featuring the tardigrade.

This adorable microscopic water bear has been filling Facebook memes since being made famous when covered by Neil DeGrasse Tyson in an episode of the Cosmos reboot back in 2014, and now he's in your Munchkin matches as well!

Monte Cook Games

An appropriately weird-looking adventure for sci-fi/fantasy-mashup setting Numenera is coming from Monte Cook Games for Free RPG Day 2018, titled Ashes of the Sea.

For those who tend to stick to PC games instead of tabletop, yes, this is the same Numenera setting used in Torment: Tides of Numenera released by inXile last year.

Catalyst

Instead of the expected Shadowrun or Battletech entry, this year Catalyst is showing off their D&D-branded card game Dragonfire with a free promo card. We don't know much about the card at this point, however, as it hasn't been shown off anywhere yet.

Renegade Game Studios

Renegade is going a very different direction than the typical D&D-style game this time around.

Overlight is a new setting due to launch with a crowdfunding campaign later this month, so not much is known about the specifics at the moment except for the description of involving "kaleidoscopic journeys" and "returning a sense of wonder to fantasy roleplaying."

Kids on Bikes, on the other hand, is exactly what it sounds like, offering a rules-light setting where kids have strange adventures in small towns (think The Goonies or Stranger Things).

Both of these offbeat settings are getting free adventures, so if you want to give either system a shot with shorter, one-off games, be sure to pick these ones up in June.

Chaosium

You can always count on a creepy Call of Cthulhu scenario from Chaosium, and this year is no exception! Scritch Scratch is a short, modern-day horror scenario revolving around terror in the backwoods. Something tells me their take on that notion will play out a lot differently than in Far Cry 5!

Pelgrane Press

Even more Cthulhu is included this year from Pelgrane Press with a two-for-one entry covering both the Cthulhu Confidential and Fall of Delta Green systems.

Cthulhu Confidential is quite a bit different than Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu game and is intended for only one player and one GM, while Fall of Delta Green is a GUMSHOE version of the popular action/horror hybrid setting, focused on investigation and covert combat in the '60s.

Lamentation of the Flame Princess

LOTFP is a very weird, very brutal (and very NSFW) system that has received a bunch of ENnie nominations in recent years for bizarre adventures like Broodmother Skyfortress and Blood in the Chocolate.

Obviously, the series would have to include an appropriately wacky entry for Free RPG Day 2018, and we weren't disappointed.

Since last year's offering was titled Vaginas Are Magic, I think we all know the chicken on the front cover is very much not the Eldritch Cock they are talking about ....

Ulisses Spiele

After Fantasy Flight sadly lost the rights to keep covering Warhamer 40,000 with the Dark Heresy and Black Crusade lines, Ulisses Spiele picked up those rights from Game Workshop and launched the Wrath & Glory game.

To get a taste of this new take on an old setting, the free adventure Blessings Unheralded is due to arrive for Free RPG Day, and it appears to be focused on the rank-and-file soldiers in the Imperial Guard.

Flying Buffalo

A new Tunnels and Trolls book will be provided by Flying Buffalo this year, essentially acting as a Quick Start Guide containing everything you need to make characters, start a game, and play your first adventure.

Troll Lord Games

This one is still a bit of a question mark. We know Troll Lord will include a third-party 5th edition D&D adventure, but the specifics are still unknown. If you see any info on this one, let us know and we'll update the article!

OffWorld Designs

This killer beholder shirt is coming from OffWorld Designs in celebration of Free RPG Day 2018, but only one shirt per box will be included, so it's unlikely you'll be able to get one. Expect it to go immediately (or for the store employees to grab it!).

Studio 9 Publishing

The offbeat Midnight Legion is an RPG system I wasn't at all familiar with prior to today, but you better believe I'll be grabbing up the Last Recruit adventure book.

The hook here is that Midnight Legion is essentially a much more advanced version of classic choose-your-own-adventure-type book series like Lone Wolf, and the game is meant for two players or even solo play.

UltraPro

While the focus on any Free RPG Day is typically Quick Start rules and new starter adventures, there's a ton of swag besides just books that tabletop gamers need, from dice bags to card mats.

UltraPro is getting in on this year's festivities with a killer (and ultra high-quality) Dungeons and Dragons character folio. This is another one-per-box entry that will go super quick.

Wyrd Miniatures

Wrapping up this year's new free entries will be Wyrd Miniatures with a Quick Start Guide for Through the Breach, a nontraditional steampunk RPG that uses cards instead of dice. I haven't personally tried this one out yet and hope to rectify that come June 16!

Where to Get Your Free RPG Day 2018 Products

Which book, promo card, or dice set are you most looking forward to grabbing? Let us know in the comments! If you don't already know where your local hobby stores are located, be sure to check out the Free RPG Day retail locator here.

For those who can't make it to a Free RPG Day 2018 retailer, don't forget that most of these entries will be available as PDFs straight from their respective publishers in late June.

Looking to dive into the wild word of tabletop gaming after grabbing some free entries? Take a look at our lists of tabletop board games that video game fans will love and a rundown of the best adult board games that came out last year to find out where to start!

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Pathfinder 2nd Edition (D&D 3.75^2) https://www.gameskinny.com/y9zf5/how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-pathfinder-2nd-edition-dd-375-2 https://www.gameskinny.com/y9zf5/how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-pathfinder-2nd-edition-dd-375-2 Mon, 12 Mar 2018 11:16:06 -0400 Ty Arthur

The inevitable moment some have dreaded and others have eagerly anticipated is soon to be upon us -- pen and paper RPG king Pathfinder is officially getting a second edition.

Just like with the 1st Edition, a massive Pathfinder 2nd Edition playtest is about to get underway so the players can give direct input on what changes are made as this aging franchise gets a whole new version.

Wait ... What?!?

This sudden move has left more than a few longtime players blindsided, given that the general consensus from major Paizo figures like Erik Mona has always been that a second edition wasn't needed and would be years off, if it ever arrived at all.

That notion was so prevalent among the player base that Paizo even needed to include a "Didn't You Say You'd Never Do This?" section in the FAQ about the upcoming 2nd Edition.

Even just two or three years ago, the various gaming forums and sub-reddits were flooded with messages vehemently opposed to a new edition whenever anyone new would come on and suggest such a blasphemous idea. The whole reason people went with Pathfinder was so they didn't have to switch editions, sticking with what was essentially D&D 3.75 to avoid having to rebuy all the same books over again with 4th edition.

Just a year back, when sci-fi spin-off Starfinder landed, it reignited "conspiracy theories" that the launch was a back door for testing out an upcoming Pathfinder second edition. In this case, it turns out all those screaming message board voices were absolutely correct, and it is the stodgy old naysayers who are now eating crow.

Characters from both Pathfinder and Starfinder                   No tinfoil hat necessary -- this was a test for a new version!

From Humble Beginnings to Towering Behemoth

It took a rather astounding amount of time for a new edition to be announced, though, especially in gaming years. A whole generation of gamers have grown up since Wizards of the Coast shuttered both Dragon and Dungeon magazines, essentially forcing Paizo to use the Open Game License to create new material.

The OGL is what allowed the Pathfinder phenomenon to overtake the gaming world, and while Wizards of the Coast meant for it to save gaming so players would focus on one system, it ended up creating the company's biggest competitor. That competitor would eventually overtake and far exceed WOTC when Pathfinder got into full swing.

It didn't start out that way, though. I still vividly remember walking into a game shop back in the summer of 2007 and asking if they were getting anything Pathfinder related because I was excited to try out the "Rise Of The Runelords" adventure path.

The shop owner had absolutely no clue what I was talking about and insisted I was confusing a new book series with that weird viking movie called Pathfinder (it would only be a few months before he saw the error of his ways and the shelves were stocked with Paizo material).

Valeros on the cover of the Pathfinder book 

This little 96-page book with Valeros on the cover would change the gaming landscape

Just under two years later, when Pathfinder went from 3.5 to its own distinct edition, it was basically the equivalent of early Christmas for the tabletop gaming crowd. There was a serious sense of wonder of checking out the first Bestiary -- which was leagues ahead of WOTC's Monster Manuals in nearly every way -- down at the local book store.

Seeing all those brand-new interpretations of classic monsters had me positively giddy, with stunning art and design revisions that really brought them all to life and made them stand out from their original counterparts.

A few months later, I could not believe my good luck at getting to pick up the GameMastery Guide early, when an employee at Hastings (a sadly now-dead book, movie, and music chain) put the book out a week before it was supposed to actually release.

From then on I was hooked, and while there are plenty of other systems I enjoy, Pathfinder has always felt like home on the high fantasy side of roleplaying. I know I'm not the only one who feels that way, with a legion of adoring fans all now getting antsy over the prospect of a new edition changing everything.

 The new take on goblins, trolls, mariliths, and more had my jaw dropping                                          

From 5th to 2nd and Back Again

The Pathfinder 2nd Edition playtest officially kicks off August 2nd, when you can download a free PDF of the playtest rules, or for those completionists who must have everything Paizo puts out, you can buy a hardcover copy.

Those burdened by an excess of cash who have run dry of common sense can also buy the deluxe hardcover version with foil-debossed faux-leather cover and ribbon bookmark. Why you would go to such lengths to get an otherwise free playtest version of the rules that will be obsolete in months is beyond the comprehension of this humble reviewer.

All that aside, there's a big question here that everyone needs to ask themselves: Why bother with a new Pathfinder edition at all?

D&D's 4th Edition was (rightfully, in my mind) attacked for being too constrained by forcing players to use minis and too focused on taking video game concepts and putting them on the tabletop. Throughout that whole era, Pathfinder was touted as the better alternative for the more serious roleplayers.

Here's the thing, though ... Pathfinder's bloat has led it to the same location, just by a longer route. Have you tried to play Pathfinder without minis on a combat grid lately? You lose out on a lot of the game, as the rules have expanded out with all those feats, archetypes, etc. that are based around being within specific range, flanking with another character, and so on.

A D&D rulebook with typical RPG artwork 

This redheaded stepchild of the D&D hobby is everything Pathfinder was supposed to stand against

Incremental changes over the years -- across 40 hardcover books and probably more soft covers than I could count -- have resulted in a very large,  unwieldy system. New classes, new racial and class archetypes, the offbeat take on psionics, haunt rules, and more have resulted in something like a towering monstrosity that is pretty top-heavy at this point.

We haven't seen the full Pathfinder 2nd Edition playtest rules yet, but based off what's been revealed in advance videos and the playtest FAQ, there are very clear design cues being taken from D&D's celebrated 5th Edition.

That shouldn't bee too surprising, since 5th Edition currently seems to be winning the battle between Paizo and Wizards (both companies pointlessly insist no such rivalry exists, in open defiance of the clear reality of the situation).

The Pathfinder 2nd Edition appears to be remaining under the 3rd Edition OGL, however, which on the one hand makes sense for continuity, but on the other is sort of odd. Why not go all in and create your own custom rules? This is especially head scratching, as the answer to the FAQ question "Is Pathfinder Second Edition compatible with First Edition?" over at the playtest site seems to be a very long-winded way of saying, "Not really, no."

So what sort of changes can we expect in this minor-but-maybe-major edition shift? It would appear more balance between spellcasters and melee classes is a big selling point, as well as streamlining proficiencies and changing the way actions work (as well as the total number of possible action types).

In other words, it seems like we're sticking to standard Pathfinder and Golarion territory overall, but with some streamlining and simplification on the rules to make it a little more accessible, while not giving up the major elements. Some of the features from the various splat books are now being folded into the core rules, like the alchemist class and goblin playable race.

While this isn't mentioned in the FAQ, it would be nice to see the skill system revamped during the playtest. That may be too much of the core chassis to mess with, but honestly, there are too many skills in Pathfinder.

They take up half the page on the character sheet, and it wouldn't be tough to whittle those down and change how they work. I'm not expecting Paizo to go full-on into Numenera territory, where skills are entirely abstract and made up by the players, but some simplification is more than called for.

UPDATE: since this article was originally written, Paizo's Jason Bulmahn commented on a playtest that skills are getting shaken up. Most notably, Perception is no longer a skill but rather a basic ability that all classes have at varying levels of proficiency. A skill called "Society" also seems to serve somewhat of a similar purpose as Knowledge Local, indicating skills are getting condensed down to some degree. 

Interesting potential characters for an upcoming edition       Plenty of innovative RPG systems have seen release since Pathfinder was born, and pulling from their better ideas wouldn't be the worst thing

Quit Complaining and Enjoy the Game!

For all the trepidation over a new edition invalidating what came before, there's a simple truth here that shouldn't be overlooked -- Pathfinder will have been around for more than 10 years when Second Edition actually lands in full form next year.

For even the most stalwart opponents to change, that seems like more than long enough for any edition to run its course. Pathfinder First Edition had a long and glorious history, featuring more than 20 adventure paths and a bunch of killer and unexpected products along the way.

So long as Paizo doesn't fall into the trap of reprinting everything classic and forcing us all to rebuy a bunch of Golarion campaign material in the new edition, an updated version of the core rules isn't a bad thing. The original version of the rules will also remain in print in pocket format, so it isn't entirely going away.

As we move forward into Pathfinder 2nd Edition, it seems like Paizo has no signs of slowing down on the tabletop, card game, or even digital media front. While the ill-fated MMO Pathfinder Online crashed and burned, the Owlcat single-player game Pathfinder: Kingmaker (which will still use the 1st Edition rules) is looking much more promising and seems to exude that classic Baldur's Gate/Pillars Of Eternity feel. Finally getting to dive into a full Pathfinder CRPG just as the new rules version arrives will be a fitting sendoff to 1st Edition.

What do you think about the upcoming edition change? Are you excited to try out the Pathfinder playtest this coming August, or do you plan to stick to what you know and stay with 1st Edition?

 Ready or not, here it comes! 

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8 Mechanics Modern RPGs Take Straight From Dungeons & Dragons https://www.gameskinny.com/vm4sx/8-mechanics-modern-rpgs-take-straight-from-dungeons-dragons https://www.gameskinny.com/vm4sx/8-mechanics-modern-rpgs-take-straight-from-dungeons-dragons Sun, 18 Feb 2018 12:19:39 -0500 Nicolas Entrabartolo

As the father of modern RPGs, Dungeons & Dragons was a pivotal game in the early days of gaming, and since then developers have taken the system and translated it into computer code. And even though many have veered away from the classic D&D systems like turn-based combat, their mechanics often still hearken back to it.

Attribute System

For many RPGs, character attributes and statistics help you advance through the game either by bettering a skill or attribute of your character's, so that they are able to accomplish more challenging tasks. Dungeons & Dragons started it all with Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma as the basic character attributes. Though you might not necessarily see these specific stats in a modern RPG, they're probably still running in the background, helping your character be a better hero.

Random Encounters

For most RPGs, the random encounter mechanic helps keep the game from being boring, making it so that you can have unplanned encounters while exploring (much like in the real world). This isn't too far from the random encounter generators that Dungeons & Dragons created, along with the Dungeon Masters who helped pioneer them. The idea behind random encounters was to break up the downtime between planned encounters in the story, and DMs could even use those random encounters strengthen the game's immersion by specifically pulling from a list of monsters that resided in the party's vicinity. Modern RPGs use this same mechanic to help keep players engaged and to bring life to their own world.

Intelligent Items

Items that can think on their own have been a staple of fantasy RPGs and stories. Usually, it'll be the (or one of the) most powerful items in the world that helps the player/party in their quest for loot and glory. Once again, Dungeons & Dragons had this system first.

Taking the idea from mythical items such as Excalibur and Mjölnir, these weapons were generally only bestowed upon those worthy of them, giving the sense that these weapons consciously chose who could wield them. Dungeons & Dragons took it one step further, giving the items the ability to speak. The idea of the sentient blade is common throughout D&D and RPGs -- sometimes its a deity speaking through a weapon or the weapon itself having some sort of soul.

Turn-Based Combat

A staple of the Final Fantasy and Fire Emblem franchises, turn-based games are for people who wish for more strategic gameplay, something where you can optimize your characters' numbers. Combat in Dungeons & Dragons is based on the initiative of each character, which determines the order in which each character acts in a given turn, with characters taking turns one after the other until combat ends. Developers took this system and modified it to work similarly (sometimes enemies respond to getting hit or they use abilities in a certain order), but the classic turn-based formula is still around in certain RPGs.

Bosses Dropping Epic Loot

The best loot always comes from the most powerful beings in the world, as they wield, horde, or have created some of the strongest weapons, armor, and trinkets ever made. Well, these boss fights are just as epic in Dungeons & Dragons.

The DM would increase the power of custom-made villains by giving them special items of their own to use, which pushes the party of players to want to engage them to claim that item for themselves! Most boss loot is generally of epic tier or higher, having a special ability or aura about them. So it was only natural for developers to give their endgame bosses some of the best loot in the game. Why would anyone want to go after these bosses if the loot was easier to get elsewhere?

Taverns Being Quest Hubs

Taverns have always been the place that players go to rest, but it is also the place where you pick up rumors and start quests. For must Dungeon Masters, a place to hook a party with an interesting questline is usually the tavern. For example, the players might hear a nearby NPC talking about something happening in the mountains or the barkeep will give them info about a missing person. These are easy quest hooks for any experienced DM, but developers also incorporated them into their games. At the start of many modern RPGs, taverns and inns will generally have the innkeeper giving the player a quest that leads into the larger story, or the tavern is a source of randomly generated quests.

Dungeon Crawling

One of the most iconic types of instances in any RPG, and even Dungeons & Dragons, is the dungeon crawl -- just a simple hack and slash through a level. Diablo's gameplay is centered entirely around this style of gameplay (as are its many clones). Some of the earliest encounters in D&D were these very dungeon crawls with simple layouts and quick encounters, allowing for easy and straightforward gameplay. As time progressed, more story was added, allowing players to be more invested in the dungeons and in the things that inhabit them. In most modern RPGs, dungeon crawls are the boss dungeons at the end of most adventures. 

Dragons... 'nough Said

Dragons are forever iconic to the fantasy genre, but they didn't become popular until D&D brought them into the fold. The most powerful mortal creatures to exist, Dragons are symbols of power, magic, and wonder. In most games, dragons are either tyrants that snuff out life or bearers of knowledge that help the players along their adventure. In all these cases, RPGs adopted them as important characters in their stories, either as allies or enemies.

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Though there are many more mechanics that RPGs have taken from this amazing game, these are some of the most pivotal in the creation of modern day RPGs. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Dungeons & Dragons news. Until next time, stay classy, gamers!

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Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes: Coming Soon https://www.gameskinny.com/mtud6/mordenkainens-tome-of-foes-coming-soon https://www.gameskinny.com/mtud6/mordenkainens-tome-of-foes-coming-soon Mon, 12 Feb 2018 14:44:37 -0500 Alex Tharp

Dungeons and Dragons, 5th Edition was a return to the classics for Wizards of the Coast. Likewise, Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes is a return to a successful format of lore book. This title will examine the classic cosmic problems that define the D&D multiverse. 

According to Wizards of the Coast's website, readers can expect to "learn more about the schism between drow and other elves, githyanki and githzerai, and dwarves and duergar, in addition to reading about the incessant Blood War between demons and devils."

In a D&D Beyond interview, Mike Mearls, D&D Creative Lead, explained a little more about what is in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. The layout of the book will be similar to that of Volo's Guide to Monsters, including new monster stats, lore, and player character options.

Mike Mearls especially goes into detail regarding the lore that has been put in this new book. Mordenkainen, the fictional author of this supplement, has a particularly cosmic point of view. To reflect that, there will be much more information on the major players in the multiverse of D&D. Information about such historical topics as the feuds between Elves and Drow, Dwarves and Duergar, Githzerai and Githyanki, and even between Demons and Devils in the Blood War will be covered in detail. Speaking of demons and devils ....

In response to feedback to Volo's Guide to Monsters, Wizards of the Coast decided to pay special attention to more challenging monsters. According to Mike Mearls, at least half of the monsters should be Challenge Rating 10+!

In fact, the Sage Advice blog advertises that there will be "130+ monsters new and old," including such creatures as New Yugoloths, Elder Elementals, and Clockwork Creatures.

Also being added are several new player character options, so Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes will be just as useful for the players as for the Dungeon Masters out there. Githzerai, Githyanki, Sea Elves, Shadar-Kai elves, and Eladrin are all getting race options. Duergar and Tiefling are also getting new content, according to the same Sage Advice blog post.

The normal cover for Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

You can preorder a hardcover copy of Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes from participating local game stores or from Amazon for $49.95. The limited alternative cover edition will be available at local game shops May 18th, 2018. The normal cover edition will be available everywhere starting on May 29th, 2018.

 

 

 

 

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DiceTalk!: How Do You Make a Character? https://www.gameskinny.com/2kpyz/dicetalk-how-do-you-make-a-character https://www.gameskinny.com/2kpyz/dicetalk-how-do-you-make-a-character Sat, 10 Feb 2018 15:04:59 -0500 Nicolas Entrabartolo

For many, the first experience in Dungeons and Dragons is the creation of their first character. Whether it's brainstorming with friends or an idea that pops up in the shower, everyone eventually has to put the idea on paper. Making this first character is a step into their own fantasy, allowing them to roleplay a different experience. You can create whatever you wish. Though the rules are there to help guide you along to a balanced game, you and your Dungeon Master can venture to whatever creative idea comes to mind.

As was said in the last installment, you can create whatever you want. It's your world, so dare to imagine. A first look at the rules and books might be daunting, but here we'll break it down for you and make it easy to understand the process of making your first character. This guide will go over the bare minimum and basics needed. For more in-depth information, don't be afraid to consult the Dungeons and Dragons Wiki or pick up the Player Handbook and Xanathar's Guide to Everything!

Basic Terms

Starting out, there are going to be several terms used throughout the guide that someone new may not understand. We'll just go through them quickly:

  • Strength (Str) - How strong you are
  • Dexterity (Dex) - How nimble you are
  • Constitution (Con) - How healthy you can be (generally important for everyone)
  • Intelligence (Int) - How "book smart" you are
  • Wisdom (Wis) - How "street smart" you are
  • Charisma (Char) - How well you can talk yourself out of a situation
  • Modifier - The bonus you get from the six attributes above. Depending on the number, you get a bonus.
  • Armor Class (AC) - How hard it is to hit you
  • Attack Bonus - How well you can hit something
  • Proficiency - Certain skills and abilities get a proficiency bonus. This will be +2 for level one.

RPG classes list.

Picking Your Class

In the 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons, there are 12 classes, and each is unique to itself. On their own, they play unique roles in the fantasy genre, and there is a niche for everyone. For every class, there are several subclasses that help you customize your character even further. Each has unique abilities and brings something different to the table.

Your class will also dictate your starting gear, skills, and hit point (HP) total. Here we'll give a brief description of what each class is and is adept at.

BARBARIAN
Zealot - Berserker - Ancestral Guardian - Storm Lord - Totem Warrior
A savage throwing itself into the fray, using its rage to become an indestructible power. Generally favors Str and Con.
Saving Throws: Str and Con.
Skills (Choose two): Animal Handling, Athletics, Intimidation, Nature, Perception, and Survival.
Max starting HP: 12

BARD
Lore - Blades - Valor - Whispers - Glamour
One who favors music, reflexes, and their silver tongue to get through life. Generally favors Char.
Saving Throws: Dex and Char.
Skills: Any three on your sheet.
Max starting HP: 8

CLERIC
Knowledge - Life - Trickery - Tempest - Light - Nature - War - Grave - Forge
A living tank of righteousness and the healer of many. Generally favors Wis.
Saving Throws: Wis and Char.
Skills (Choose two): History, Religion, Insight, Medicine, and Persuasion.
Max starting HP: 10

MONK
Hand - Shadow - Sun Soul - Kensei - Four Elements - Drunken Master
A disciple of balance and master of martial arts. Generally Favors Dex and Wis.
Saving Throws: Str and Dex.
Skills (Choose two): Acrobatics, Athletics, History, Insight, Religion, and Survival.
Max starting HP: 8

PALADIN
Vengeance - Devotion - Redemption - Conquest - Ancient - Oathbreaker
A warrior of the gods, fights for a sacred oath, and smites their foes with radiance. Generally favors Str, Con, and Char.
Saving Throws: Wis and Char.
Skills (Choose two): Athletics, Insight, Religion, Persuasion, Medicine, and Intimidation.
Max starting HP: 10

WARLOCK
Hexblade - The Great Old One - Archfey - Celestial - Fiend
Wielder of foreign magics, making a pact with a patron is the route you go for power. Generally favors Char.
Saving Throws: Wis and Char.
Skills (Choose two): Arcana, Deception, History, intimidation, Investigation, Nature, and Religion.
Max starting HP: 8

SORCERER
Divine Soul - Draconic - Wild Magic - Storm - Shadow
Magic runs in your blood, and no one can stop you from unleashing the power stored within. Generally favors Char.
Saving Throws: Con and Char.
Skills (Choose two): Arcana, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Persuasion, Religion.
Max starting HP: 6

WIZARD
Conjuration - Abjuration - transmutation - Nercromancy - Divination - Evocation - War - Illusion - Enchantment
Gandalf, yes you are the old man who sat forever to read books and have pages of spells, but your power is infinite. Generally favors Int.
Saving Throws: Int and Wis.
Skills (Choose two): Arcana, History, Insight, Investigation, Medicine, and Religion.
Max starting HP: 6

FIGHTER
Champion - Samurai - Cavalier - Arcane Archer - Battle Master - Eldritch Knight
A master of combat and weaponry, generally the easiest and straight forward of all the classes. Generally favors Str or Dex.
Saving Throws: Str and Con.
Skills (Choose two): Acrobatics, Athletics, Insight, Perception, Survival, Medicine, Intimidation, History, and Animal Handling.
Max starting HP: 10

DRUID
Moon - Dream - Shepard - Land
The protector of nature, shifting into all forms for her protection and wielding magics of the wild. Generally favors Wis.
Saving Throws: Int and Wis.
Skills (Choose two): Arcane, Nature, Animal Handling, Insight, Medicine, Perception, Religion, and Survival.
Max starting HP: 8

ROGUE
Thief - Assassin- Swashbuckler - Scout - Arcane Trickster - Mastermind - Inquisitive
Silent but deadly, the classic thief sitting in the shadows, ready to pick any lock. Generally favors Dex.
Saving Throws: Dex and Int.
Skills (Choose four): Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth.
Max starting HP: 8

RANGER
Beast Master - Hunter - Horizon Walker - Gloom Stalker - Monster Slayer
The hunter in the wilderness, can track any creature and makes friends of any beast they wish. Generally favors Dex and Wis.
Saving Throws: Str and Dex.
Skills (Choose three): Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Nature, Perception, Survival, and Stealth.
Max starting HP: 10

Choosing Your Race

There are many races throughout the stories of Dungeons and Dragons, but there are a select few that you get to play in this iteration of the game. Some of them get specific bonuses for their culture, while others get special abilities. Whatever you wish to choose, your race can either maximize your efficiency  or just be chosen fun. Some of these races also have subraces; these provide added variety and help boost other attributes. Here are the races and some of their perks.

  • Human - +1 to every ability score, and like all humans, can adapt to any situation.
  • Dwarf - +2 to Con and are a hardy people. Variants include Hill Dwarf (+1 Wis) and Mountain Dwarf (+2 Str).
  • Elf - +2 to Dex. Generally long-lived and influenced by nature. Variants include High Elf (+1 Int), Wood Elf (+1 Wis), and Dark Elf (+1 Char).
  • Half Elf - +2 to Char and +1 to two other attributes. Fairer than humans but more rugged than elves, you have the best of both worlds.
  • Half Orc - +2 to Str and +1 to Con. Generally tough and adaptable, much like their parent races.
  • Halfling - +2 to Dex. A small but proud people, your luck and bravery are renowned. Variants are Lightfoot (+1 Char) and Stout (+1 Con).
  • Gnome - +2 Int. A small people that are extremely cunning. Variants are Forest Gnome (+1 Dex) and Rock Gnome (+1 Con).
  • Dragonborn - +2 Str, +1 Char. Gain a breath weapon, a resistance to your element.
  • Tiefling - +1 Int, +2 Char. Some hellish traits and spells in regards to your heritage.

More specific information on each race can be found in the Player Handbook or on the Dungeons and Dragons Wiki.

Rolling Your Attributes

Attributes list.

There are several systems to rolling your stats, and they all depend on your Dungeon Master's preference. But generally, people just do the straight elite hero spread: 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8.  All these numbers will go into whatever attributes (Str, Dex, Con, Wis, Int, Char) you wish to have. Depending on your class, you may have higher Str then Dex, or vice versa.

On your character sheet, you will also have an area for modifiers. In the D&D system, there is a scale that has increasing modifiers depending on how high your attribute is. These modifiers will be used throughout your character sheet, dictating how good you are at certain skills, attacks, and evading attacks from enemies. Here is the table for attributes to modifiers:

Ability modifiers.

 Picking Your Background

A new feature of 5th edition is the idea of a background for your character. This generally is to help new players figure out where their character came from and what has impacted them up to this point. These also give special skills, perks, and even more customization for your character. 

  • Acolyte - connections to your religion and institution.
    Skills: Insight and Religion
  • Soldier - military recognition and influence.
    Skills: Athletics and Intimidation
  • Urchin - you know the city secrets and where to find them.
    Skills: Sleight of hand and Stealth
  • Criminal - special connections and basic rogue skills.
    Skills: Deception and Stealth
  • Outlander - you can survive in the wild far more easily.
    Skills: Athletics and Survival
  • Noble - you have the name and wealth to back it up.
    Skills: History and Persuasion
  • Charlatan - able to talk a scam into anyone.
    Skills: Deception and Sleight of hand
  • Entertainer - able to put on a show and greatly please.
    Skills: Acrobatics and Performance
  • Folk Hero - you can easily find friends among the common folk.
    Skills: Animal Handling and Survival
  • Guild Artisan - have guild connections and lodging.
    Skills: Insight and Persuasion
  • Hermit - you find meaning and discovery in your solitude.
    Skills: Medicine and Religion
  • Sage - you know your stuff and are a researcher at heart.
    Skills: Arcana and History
  • Sailor - you know the ships to take and knowledge of the seas.
    Skills: Athletics and Perception

Tying Up the Loose Ends

Example Dungeons & Dragons character sheet.

Once you have completed all the other steps, it's time to fill in the rest of the numbers. Skills are generally class-specific, but they are a core part of the game. You will also gain two skills from your background. This generally dictates what you specialize in throughout your life. 

From whichever skills you picked, you add your modifier plus your proficiency. You will also do this for your saving throws that you get from your class. This will be the total you will add to your dice rolls. From there, your attack bonus depends on whether you are using a ranged or melee weapon. If a weapon can ever be used as melee, you will add your Str modifier and proficiency. The total will be your attack bonus.

Example from above: Str modifier: 3 + Proficiency: 2 = Attack Bonus: 5

This works the same for any ranged weapon. You will add your Dex modifier and your proficiency. This will be your attack bonus for ranged weapons. Last is your HP. At level one, you start with the max from your class plus your Con modifier.

The Rest Is Up to You!

From here, everything else is up to your imagination. Work with your Dungeon Master if you have trouble coming up with traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws. The background and subclass are always good places to look for some inspiration. As always, the Wiki and Player Handbook are valuable resources if you want more detailed information. 

All that is left is a name for this character you have created! Now you have a completed character sheet.

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Hope you enjoyed this guide to creating a level one character! Next time on GameSkinny's DiceTalk!, we'll go over what it means to be a DM and offer some tips for first-time DMs. Let us know in the comments below what characters you have created! Until next time, keep rolling, gamers. 

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Using Monster Hunter World to Create Better Combat in Dungeons and Dragons https://www.gameskinny.com/szt1d/using-monster-hunter-world-to-create-better-combat-in-dungeons-and-dragons https://www.gameskinny.com/szt1d/using-monster-hunter-world-to-create-better-combat-in-dungeons-and-dragons Fri, 09 Feb 2018 16:03:12 -0500 Alex Tharp

Quick, describe the last combat encounter you ran during a session of Dungeons and Dragons! If you can't describe anything other than the enemies and general vicinity the fight took place in, then there's a problem. Fortunately, Monster Hunter: World has the solution.

Not only does Monster Hunter World have memorable environments, but it also has tightly designed battlefields. Those intricate designs, both of battlefields and monsters, have much to teach an aspiring Dungeon Master. So, what does this game's design have that your game might not?

Interesting choices.

Dice of all sizes and sides add RNG to D&D

Decisions, Decisions

In D&D, every turn brings a choice. Which spell should I use, whom should I heal, what monster should I take down first? Choices like these are inherent to every battle. The designers of the game gave players choices during combat because choices are what make those encounters fun to play.

But what makes a good choice? Obviously, a choice is a selection between multiple options, but it isn't meaningful if the options aren't different enough or if there is a clear, correct answer. That may seem obvious, but it reveals a weakness in the design of D&D combat.

Take for example the fighter class. If a fighter must choose a weapon to fight with, then it is a simple numbers game of whichever hits hardest. There is a clear, correct answer. The decision to either hit a monster with a sword or run away is also a numbers game. If you can survive another round, then attack; if you cannot, then flee. Simple. Number games which masquerade as choices don't make a combat encounter any more entertaining.

Now let's look at the wizard class. A wizard can pick between damage or utility spells during battle. Is it worth giving up a Fireball in order to try to stun multiple enemies? Will a Wall of Force create a tactical advantage that is more useful than defending someone with Mirror Image? These decisions are much more varied and unclear, thus making for engaging combat.

Nonetheless, the decisions a wizard must make during battle are usually the same. The wizard decides between the same, limited amount of spells they know. To make the problem worse, many spells are situational. A singular use for all spells can make a wizard's choice into a number game, which is no fun.

Clearly then, the question of how to make a good combat encounter becomes "How do I create interesting choices during combat for all my players?" Here, Monster Hunter World has answers aplenty.

Scenes like this one from MH:W can play out in your D&D games

Monster Hunter: World of Choices

Monster Hunter World also has inherent choices in its combat system. This time, however, the choices the designers baked into the game are only the start. After all, a riveting combat encounter needs more choices than just "Should I use the lance or the long sword?" Monster Hunter World knows that and creates choices using more than just the base combat system.

Because Monster Hunter World acts in real time, unlike D&D, it can be hard to identify the choices this game gives its players. It can be even trickier because of the denseness of its terrain. But with experience, any eagle-eyed hunter can spot them during the heat of battle. So, where to look for these choices?

Find a choice croaking in the mud. Spy one flitting about in a cave, flashing with light. Cut another one to the ground and watch it spill across the jungle floor. The choices have been scattered across the terrain by wily designers, just like they should be in your game.

The genius of the battlefields in Monster Hunter World is that there are other agents acting in any given battle other than the players and their target. Paratoads can pop up from the mud, giving you the opportunity to paralyze the monster. You can spill the venom from basin-like plants and lure the monster into it. 

You can trade a few moments' worth of attacks for the attempt to lead a monster into a vine trap. Or take the time you would spend hitting it with an oversized weapon to run up a tree and try to mount the beast. Is it worth getting mired in the muck to avoid an attack, or should you brace yourself and maintain your position? A choice was made, and the game becomes a little more interesting.

When a player makes a decision, they take ownership of the battle they are in. The hunter becomes engaged, and the frenetic energy of Monster Hunter World is at its peak when a player carries out their well-laid plans -- even if that well-laid plan ends with you getting caught by an errant sleeptoad and being trampled to death as you snooze helplessly on the ground.

These figurines aren't too unlike combatants in Monster Hunter World

Crafting Combat Choices for D&D

Monster Hunter World is rife with choices, but it is limited by technology. Dungeons and Dragons has no limit, and that's the appeal. Anything the devious Dungeon Master can think up can happen in the game. That means that any DM can learn from Monster Hunter World and make combat encounters that are twice as fun!

To do this, you could theoretically rip these elements straight from Monster Hunter World. Create paratoads and sporepuffs which inflict status effects on creatures in their areas of effect. Put boulders hanging from vines, and let your players ready an action to break the vine when an enemy passes by. 

While that is all fine and dandy, and likely already an improvement in your combat encounters, a creative DM can go even further! Introduce a swinging rope bridge between the party and the enemies, and let your players cut enough rope from the sides to collapse the whole thing and send those orcs hurtling downwards. Put a chest of gold on the other side with the orcs, and make the players think twice about taking the easy way out by cutting the bridge.

Another example might be to fill a cave with difficult terrain and thick stalactites, then introduce a creature of high mobility, unbothered by the difficult terrain. Desperate for footing, the players might risk a collapse by knocking down stalactites to create navigable terrain. 

Your options as a DM are limitless. Utilize traps to change the terrain of the battlefield. Let players notice them before combat and perhaps use them to their own advantage. Create creatures and plants that can change the battlefield or that can even be persuaded to actively aid any creature that they choose. Give the players more opportunities for choice than what is already on their character sheets.

Oh, and one last thing to really spice up your combat encounters? Remember that even the players' enemies can take those opportunities if they're clever.

Have more to add? Want to share your favorite combat tricks? Leave a comment below!

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DiceTalk: What is Dungeons and Dragons? https://www.gameskinny.com/fwim3/dicetalk-what-is-dungeons-and-dragons https://www.gameskinny.com/fwim3/dicetalk-what-is-dungeons-and-dragons Mon, 22 Jan 2018 12:57:53 -0500 Nicolas Entrabartolo

For many it was considered a cult, for others it was something to do on a Saturday night. But for most, it was an escape to a fantastic world of wonder and imagination. Because in Dungeons and Dragons, anything is possible ... anything. And the limitless wonder and ideas that people would come up with could go anywhere, and many of the top RPGs or MMOs can thank Dungeons and Dragons for its inspiration and pioneering. But what is Dungeons and Dragons exactly, and why is it so important? Well, we are here to show you exactly what it is and the reasons why you should get into this legendary tabletop game.

Dungeons and Dragons itself is a game 40 years in the making. A man named Gary Gygax started by going to conventions for war games and meeting with fellow developers, including cofounders Dave Arneson and Don Kaye. From there, the trio made the game Chainmail, which was an early system, revolving more around war games. From there, Arneson modeled campaigns around the system. Eventually they came out with the first iteration, Dungeons and Dragons, in three booklets in January 1973. And ever since, the system has grown, evolved, and adapted. Eventually becoming Wizards of the Coast, Dungeons and Dragons is now up to its sixth iteration and hasn't look stronger.

So many people wonder, what exactly do you do in Dungeons and Dragons? Aren't you just sitting around being nerds? Yes and no. While you do sit around imagining elves, fairies, and dragons, the experience is far more social and methodical. You and everyone else you are playing with make up everything in the world your characters are in -- and I mean everything. From where you go in the world down to the very skills that your characters have, you are in control.

The first sheet of the 5th Edition, this holds all the information and statistics needed for your character as you adventure.

The first page of the character sheet for 5th edition, this holds all the information needed to adventure.

The character sheet is the most important piece of paper you will ever have in Dungeons and Dragons. It holds not just your name, but your skills, abilities, languages, and how strong, smart, and even charming you are. This is the basis of the game, along with the roll of the dice. And that dice roll, depending on what you gave your character at creation, will dictate how proficient your character is in the overall tasks he or she undertakes. It can make for some epic moments, sad moments, and even hilarious ones at that. But in the end, anything is possible with a dice roll.

And even as extensive as these sheets can get, your imagination is usually what guides you on your way. Other than dice, paper, and pencil, everything else is up to our creativity. How we perceive our characters, how we believe they talk and act, how they handle hard times, good times, and even what we see, all comes down to imagination. This is what makes this game so timeless -- the endless possibilities for what can be done in the world you create. You can do anything.

But then comes that one question: why should I even try Dungeons and Dragons? For most, playing this tabletop is a social experience. Because at the core of this game is a collection of people coming together to tell a story and have some fun. And for many more people, it is a time where people can connect, catch up with some old friends, and have some laughs in a world that is totally controlled by them. It makes for an experience like no other.

Though you can start at any age, most people experience Dungeons and Dragons for the first time in their late teens, early twenties.

Dungeons and Dragons has brought something to the human experience like nothing else. It has brought about many video games, books, and even other genres akin to the d20 system. It has also come into use for helping children with social awkwardness and autism, helping them become comfortable with being social with others and slowly introducing them to different interactions. Dungeons and Dragons has helped produce so many positive things, whether it is the rise of massive gaming industries or bringing a smile to a young child.

So although many have doubts about playing Dungeons and Dragons, deep down I know many are just curious. Throughout the decade that I've been playing this game, I have always heard from people that they wished to play but never had a chance or didn't know how. There are probably campaigns happening all around you -- just go out and ask! Even people you work with, see at the bar, or even know from church could be in the fantastic world that they created. 

But if you wish to be more direct in your search, here are two helpful sites: Dungeons and Dragons Community and the Looking for Group Reddit. From both of these sites you can find groups anywhere! And if you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask in the forums!

So that was a lot to take in, I understand. But take some time to think: would it be bad to try out some imagining? In a world that is ever so bitter, and sometimes boring, maybe brighten it up with some fantasy. Get some friends together and try out some of the pre-made adventures that Wizards of the Coast have released. I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

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Thank you for tuning in to GameSkinny's DiceTalk! In the next article, we'll be exploring the idea of world creation and class fantasy. Have an interesting character idea or world concept? Let us know in the comments down below! And until next time, stay classy, gamers!

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Geek & Sundry Posts New Critical Role Artwork https://www.gameskinny.com/buy41/geek-sundry-posts-new-critical-role-artwork https://www.gameskinny.com/buy41/geek-sundry-posts-new-critical-role-artwork Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:16:13 -0500 Nicolas Entrabartolo

Today on Geek & Sundry, the first pieces of artwork of the new Critical Role characters were posted. Each character had its own respective image, along with a large group portrait akin to the silhouette announcement during the holidays. From the Game & Sundry announcement:

"Ariana Orner is the new official Critical Role artist starting with the second campaign, although she’s not new at all to the show itself. 'I got into it back in April 2016 and I haven’t stopped loving it since,' she says. So it’s no surprise that Ariana is thrilled to contribute to the new campaign ...."

Now with a base to work from, this is the beginning of a stream of new fan art that will be showcased on the show during breaks and on the site. The full gallery of images can be found here, with information pertaining to which character is being presented.

But be sure to stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Critical Role and Dungeons and Dragons news!

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Critical Role's Second Campaign Has Arrived! https://www.gameskinny.com/fcgcm/critical-roles-second-campaign-has-arrived https://www.gameskinny.com/fcgcm/critical-roles-second-campaign-has-arrived Sat, 13 Jan 2018 17:19:10 -0500 Nicolas Entrabartolo

It has finally arrived! Last night on Geek and Sundry’s twitch, we were immersed back into the world of Matthew Mercer, Exandria. Met with overwhelmingly positive feedback, the cast brought about the same antics and love that the community enjoyed.

 

For anyone new, Critical Role is a program of Geek and Sundry, where voice actors play Dungeons and Dragons: 5th  Edition every week. The first campaign that was brought to Geek and Sundry ran for almost six years, until it reached its climax this past October. With one-night sessions filling the gap, the reveal of the next campaign happened around the holidays, with the start of the new campaign last night at 7:00 p.m. PST.

 

This new campaign takes place 20 years after the last campaign, mainly on the continent of Wildemount.

 

With the return of most of the cast, excluding Orion Acaba, the reveal of everyone’s characters on last night’s stream was highly received. With much of the cast well known by the gaming community, the characters created were both interesting and spot-on to their players.

 

  • Ashley Johnson returns as her Aasimar Barbarian, Yasha.
  • Laura Bailey brings Jester, the tiefling cleric, into the fold.
  • Liam O’Brien creates Caleb Widogast, the human wizard.
  • Sam Regal keeps to his short stature with a goblin rogue known as Nott the Brave.
  • Marisha Ray tries a new strategy with a human monk, Beauregard.
  • Taliesin Jaffe continues with his edgy ways, playing a tiefling blood hunter, Mollymauk.
  • Travis Willingham decides to do a 180 with his new character, Fjord the half-orc warlock.

Critical Role’s current schedule is every Thursday, starting at 7:00 P.M. PST. Go over and support the resurgence of the Dungeons and Dragons community, and stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Critical Role and Dungeons and Dragons coverage!

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