Wednesday, January 21, 2015

RPG Ranking By Year

Scroll bar below allows scrolling image to the right.

The Green Ronin reference would seem to indicate the Mutants & Masterminds that precedes and succeeds it.
Warhammer 40k, Dark Hersey, Rogue Trader have all been given a dashed line to show they are related.
Shadowrun appears, disappears, reappears, disappears, reappears.
Mutans & Masterminds has several appearances long after its debut.

Data collected from    April 10, 2009 @ 2:37 am EST    August 16, 2006 @ 12:00 am EST    August 23, 2007 @ 12:00 am EST    August 27, 2009 @ 12:00 am EST    August 28, 2008 @ 12:00 am EST    August 30, 2005 @ 12:00 am EST    August 4, 2011 @ 3:51 am EST    August 6, 2014 @ 4:36 am EST    December 2, 2008 @ 12:00 am EST    February 21, 2012 @ 4:39 am EST    July 15, 2013 @ 5:52 am EST    July 25, 2012 @ 5:00 am EST    July 30, 2010 @ 2:02 am EST   June 14, 2006 @ 12:00 am EST    June 15, 2007 @ 12:00 am EST    June 17, 2005 @ 12:00 am EST    June 19, 2008 @ 12:00 am EST    March 13, 2014 @ 3:53 am EST    March 23, 2006 @ 12:00 am EST    March 23, 2010 @ 12:00 am EST    March 27, 2008 @ 12:00 am EST    March 28, 2007 @ 12:00 am EST    March 28, 2011 @ 3:02 am EST    March 29, 2013 @ 3:43 am EST    March 31, 2005 @ 12:00 am EST    May 27, 2010 @ 12:00 am EST    May 27, 2011 @ 5:01 am EST    November 2, 2004 @ 12:00 am EST    November 2, 2011 @ 4:38 am EST    November 22, 2006 @ 12:00 am EST    November 27, 2007 @ 12:00 am EST    November 5, 2009 @ 4:56 am EST    October 22, 2014 @ 4:03 am EST    October 23, 2012 @ 4:47 am EST    October 29, 2013 @ 3:47 am EST    October 7, 2010 @ 12:00 am EST

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Schrodingers Cauldron

Most game master's that I know of, will write up a little bit of notes to act as a guide for the adventure they want to run. A typical description may appear as follows.

Room Key 56: This area contains a black cauldron. During the evening there is a 30% chance of encountering the 3 witches from Room Key 62.

Published adventures may have more detail (some with a metric ton of detail). Older adventures tended to be similar to the above with a sparse description.

Continuing on with the thought experiment; pretend that a player has navigated their character to the room during the day, and he asks, "What is in the cauldron? And, if anything, what happens if I taste what is inside?"

Some game master's might take this opportunity to put something in the cauldron.

They might draw upon their previous knowledge of witches from movies or cartoons and decide that a love potion is being made, or a concoction that turns the imbiber into a toad. Some might decide it is a deadly poison.

Some might decide that whatever is inside is similar to a magic potion and make the connection that there is a table in the rules for the game they are playing in having magical treasure generated. So they flip through a rule book and find the potion table and make a roll to see what it is.

And some might decide to connect up the cauldron with a previous encounter where a group of leprechauns have lost their pot of gold and decide this is the pot with a leprechaun that the witches have tied up and kept in the cauldron to use in their next experiment.

In some, relatively, newer games, some of the narrative control of what is in the cauldron might be passed off to the player. He may have some points he can spend to try and bend reality to his idea and say, "I think the cauldron contains a soup with healing qualities" and then, there maybe a duel between the game master and the player about how that will play out.

But even in older games, there may be more traditional methods for the player to manipulate what is in the cauldron. There may be a spell that the player could have learned that would allow the character to summon something into the cauldron. Perhaps, even a wish spell.

More often then not, I find the question of what is inside the cauldron (metaphorically) is a large part of any role playing game. And (paradoxically) the answer is nothing and, at the same time, the potential for anything.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Playing 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons

Sometimes I wonder in amazement at how lucky I am to meet new friends and actually get to play games on the weekend from time to time. This weekend represented a plethora of "firsts" in my personal history of playing RPGs.

The first "first" is that I got to play Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons for the first time. And to top that off, I got to actually play as a player instead of as a Dungeon Master. That is pretty rare for me.

The second "first" is that my significant other wanted to play. She has never played Dungeons and Dragons of any edition and was curious how the game works. She also acted as the photographer and took all the pictures you see. She made up a tiefling ranger by the name of Svetlana Yavari.

The third "first" is that the DM for the game was completely new to DMing and was learning the ropes of the game. This was the first time I have ever played with a DM who was a neophyte to the art. And it was also the first time the DM was a woman in any game that I played.

We played through the first part of the Mines of Phandelver. She did an amazing job and a good time was had by all. My only complaint is that the DM had magic dice and never seemed to fail a roll.