Showing posts from August, 2020

Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise Review

Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise is out!  I've got my greasy hands on the PDF and I'm going to take some time to try to give everyone an idea of what exactly this monster has.  And a monster, it is.  At 165 pages of main content and an additional 65 pages of appendices, Fuchsia Malaise gives you a hell of a lot for $15 (give or take).  Just how much quality is there in this massive quantity?  We'll see.  A few disclaimers: 1. I consider myself to be a good acquaintance of the author.  I backed the project and offered some feedback on the book during the editing process. 2. I was not given anything for doing this.  I paid for my PDF and for the hardcover. 3. The very nature of this review is going to be highly preferential.  Things that I say are something I dislike may be something that you appreciate and vice versa. 4. I'm currently running a Cha'alt game but have not (as of yet) been able to incorporate that much of Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise in my game just yet.  I

Reaction Rolls Are Smarter Than You

  Why, Aaron, what an overly clickbait title you have, right? Reaction rolls.  If you've come across this blog, the likelihood that you know not only what reaction rolls are but also exactly how to use them is staggeringly high.  For the sake of everyone else, this is the idea. If you're unsure how a creature is going to react to the player characters, you roll two six-sided dice.  The higher the result of the roll, the more favorable they are to helping the player characters.  It uses a bell curve, so typically 7-9 is your fairly neutral average.  This is the chart from back in the early days. It may not be a surprise to anyone, but I don't use this chart exactly as it's written.  While I see the purpose of multiple rolls, I favor a single one, and I use it more than just for monsters. 2-5 Extreme hostility 6-7 Somewhat hostile 8-9 Neutral 10-11 Favorable 12 Helpful One may ask, "but Aaron!  This is completely random!  Why can't we consider external factors, s

How People Screw Up Nonhuman Races in RPGs

DISCLAIMER: ALL OF THIS RAMBLING IS SPEAKING WITH THE ASSUMPTION THAT YOU ARE PLAYING IN A SETTING THAT IS EITHER HUMANOCENTRIC OR VERY MIXED.  IF YOUR SETTING HAS ANOTHER RACE THAT'S THE MOST COMMON, SUBSTITUTE THAT FOR WHAT I'M SAYING HERE. I think there are a few reasons why people ultimately decide that they wish to play a nonhuman. 1. It sounds cool. 2. It looks cool. 3. It makes me better at something. #2, I don't really give a shit about.  There's nothing to really opine on.  You like how it looks? Awesome, go for it. Numbers 1 and 3 are where the real meat and potatoes are. It sounds cool, sure.  Why does it sound cool?  Is it because the lore surrounding the race is intriguing?  Perhaps there's a compelling history surrounding this race that strikes you as being fertile ground for a neat backstory?   Unless there are actual implications in the game world that come with being the race that you've chosen, this is little more than set dressing.  By actual

My Cha'alt/Hubris/DCC Game: Explained

I've had a campaign going on for a few months now.  The simplest way to explain it is to just say "I'm using these books." Let's break this down. The World The world is, in its simplest form, Cha'alt.  Straight out of the book, though I've added races from Hubris for some extra flavor.  I'll extol the virtues of ALL of these products at the end of my diatribe, but let's just focus on what Cha'alt has to offer.  Cha'alt is a gonzo desert setting that is post-apocalyptic.  Imagine if you took Mad Max, but the entire reason the world ended was actually because the Elder Gods at the edge of the galaxy were pissed off that humans were enjoying themselves with YouTube instead of going to Cthulhu Sunday School.  A war between civilization and the Elder Gods commenced, leaving the entire world a smoldering waste in the wake.  However, remnants of the high technology world still survive.  Environments with these pleasantries are as sacred as they ar

Doing Dungeons Justice: A Guide For Running Exciting Dungeons in Fifth Edition D&D

One of the things that I always wished I had learned sooner as a DM was proper Dungeon Running techniques. You can have one of the most deadly, evocative dungeons and the effect it gives the players is diminished by poor DMing procedures. This isn't to say that if you aren't doing it my way, you're a Bad DM™, but that you need to find some way to herd those cats. So without further ado, let's get this ball of yarn rolling. A dungeon crawl that lacks tension is just a series of encounters. They can be perhaps some of the most eloquently crafted or difficult encounters in existence, but the players will be left with an experience that falls short of its full potential. There are two things you need to run a dungeon with tension, completely separate from any narratively concocted tension that may be situationally present: Mystery and Momentum. We'll start with the thing that's core to this entire process. A dungeon crawl has to have a goo