Sandbox on Rails

Sandbox campaigns are a dream I have chased for years. A campaign where the players participate in the story, create memorable content and I act only as a referee. I know that many people chase the same white rabbit and I’m going to discuss my methods of catching it.

We finished our latest season of Eldritch Sigils just last night. It was one of the most epic season with game starting in 2099 and ending in 1770s after a detour in about 2300. When we started this campaign exactly ten months ago I had no idea where the story would take us. I was once again trying to force my players to play with me on my sandbox.

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[DnD5e] Planning for the Campaign

I’ve been playing rpgs since ten and most of that time (24ish years) I have been a GM. And I have never ran Dungeons & Dragons. Sure, I started with ANKH that was in essence just a D&D clone in Finnish. But the actual grandfather of rpgs has been a bit of a boogieman for me. The Old School Renaissance introduced me to DCCRPG and most recently I tried out 5th edition while I participated in Out of the Abyss. But now I think I would like to try to run DnD5e.

In this post I share me ideas for my first campaign as well as my impression and thoughts on the subject of starting such a campaign and about DnD5e in general as a first timer.

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Designing Eldritch Sigils

Last Sunday I published the beta version of rules for Eldritch Sigils. This is a game I have been working on for about five years. I have actually published earlier drafts over the years but this was the first time it actually has consistency and it is actually playable.

This has been a long process and one that is still in the works. But now that the rules are “out there” I thought it would be a good chance to talk about them. Since game design is quite an interesting topic I hope that sharing my process might produce new ideas or at least be curious.

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[Eldritch Sigils] Is Transhumanism > Being Human

New season for Eldritch Sigils is on. This time we will play in the end of the 22nd century where the PCs are member of the organisation trying to keep the reality from shattering. It’s less than hundred years from “now” but Cyberpunk (as a time and style) is still a thing in the past and that means some changes in the way things work. And during the first session we had an interesting conversation about transhumanism.

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Sylvan World #1

use-with-dw-OnLightTwo years ago I ran my first Dungeon World-campaign and it was fun. But thinking back to it I might have not been familiar enough with the AWengine to make it the most memorable. I liked the basic idea in it though – it was a world entirely covered in forest.

This idea did not come up that too often in the few games we played. So when I started thinking about running a new campaign I realised I wasn’t done with that world. So last Saturday I got a new group together and started a new campaign with my favourite fantasy system. And this time we tried out it with Funnel World. Continue reading

Trying Out: Uncharted Worlds

spiliaprime1Short version: Uncharted Worlds is an Apocalypse World hack by Sean Gomes. It is a game for a space opera in the style of Firefly (amongst other things). It’s a complete game not requiring the understanding or ownership of the Apocalypse World by Vincent Baker. And it is a good hack with a lot going on.

Long version: After a number of times failing to get the group together we finally managed to sit down for a game of Uncharted Worlds. Sami (our GM) has been talking about this and has prepared for it by running the Out of the Abyss-campaign. He has even vowed to write about running it at one point. With 20+ sessions I would imagine he has quite a bit to say about it. Once he actually does it…
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Assassination in Three Hours — Blades in the Dark

blades3

In mere three hours, we created our group of scoundrels and planned and executed an assassination. John Harper’s roleplaying game Blades in the Dark, dear readers, is awesome. This is my experience of our first session. Note that this is not a review nor an analysis of the design, just a description of a subjective experience. Continue reading

ZWEIHÄNDER is complete!

Back in the day I used to play Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay for years. It was “my D&D” (since I never really played that). I have a lot of memories about that game, I have made quite a few fan supplements for it, heck, I was even the other admin for long forgotten HAMMERZEIT (web site for WFRP3) and have been running the Daily Empire apparently for seven years…

Every now and then I have tried to get back into the game that really sold roleplaying for me but having been spoiled by Apocalypse World it has never really worked out.

Back while I was really active “some dude” got an idea of remaking the 2nd edition game. Since I really  (REALLY) loved the 2nd edition I was immediately on board on this. Then time passed. Games Workshop decided it was better to just destroy the Old World (with Age of Suckmar). I even played a little D&D! But yesterday “that dude” finally did it.

“That dude” is naturally Daniel Fox and his Grim & Perilous Studios. And the game is called ZWEIHÄNDER.

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Season of the Witch, End

Playtesting sheets

Playtesting sheets

Last week we played the long anticipated tenth session of our last “season” of Eldritch Sigils called The Season of the Witch. Rather than being (all) about the last session I try once again debate about ending a campaign.

At the start of this campaign we established that the characters were chosen by George Washington to uncover a diabolic cult of witches that had been plaguing the New World since its founding. As with most campaigns it all went to hell but this time with an intended bang.

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Season of the Witch, Part 4

session4bThough it seems we have more than enough of timing issues with this campaign we are managed to have an awesome fourth session yesterday. And even though we have been using Eldritch Sigils for a few years for the campaign it seems we can still find minor details that need correcting.

It seems like ages ago when I was GMing ANKH to my friends after school and just had to tweak the rules of the game to suit my taste. It might have been twenty years ago but I’m still doing it. And for the life of me I cannot see the reason why?

Why cannot I be satisfied with the rules as written?

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