Adventures in Roleplaying Part 1- The Challenge

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I’m sad to say that over the past while I’ve been playing less and less of tabletop wargames. Partly due to life getting in the way and partly due to a bit of burnout. I’ve barely even picked up my paint brush in the past 6 months, even though I’ve a fair bit of models on my to do list.

I’ve decided to have a try at some Roleplaying games (the pen and paper type) in the meantime. It’s been years since i last played any, and I always had a good time while playing, so what the hell.

There is a few RPG groups active in my area, and I plan on taking part over the next few weeks, to get into the swing of things. The groups play a range of systems from D&D, Pathfinder, Star Wars and Cthuhlu mythos to name a few.

I’ve set myself a bit of a challenge… Once I get back into the swing of things I’m going to GM (Games Master) a campaign/ story, how hard could it be right?

I’ve been using Youtube during my spare time, as a resource tool. Looking for hints, tips and tricks for creating plots, one shots, campaigns, and GM’ing.

Rules wise, I’ll be drawing from the Fantasy AGE Rulebook (I have the digital one but I’m just waiting for my physical copy to arrive) and its companion book Titansgrave, I haven’t decided if I’ll be using their settings but I might.

I’ve looked at a few RPG systems, and for me the one that I feel suits me is Green Ronin’s AGE (Adventure Game Engine) system.

Its a nice system, and has alot going for it:

* It lends itself well to different genres.
* It’s newbie friendly.
* It doesnt use a bucket of dice, only three 6 sided dice (3D6).
* Character creation is done in only 9 steps. It’s mostly, I pick this option, and this option, and this option.
* I have to say I’m quite smitten with how its ‘Stunt’ system works in roleplaying and combat encounters.

I’m not the greatest fan of a ‘pure’ fantasy setting myself, so it’ll be a Science Ficton- Fantasy setting. For which Fantasy AGE + Titansgrave cater for.

I’ve an idea for a plot. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I’m gona ‘borrow‘ bits and pieces from my favourite shows, movies, animes etc.

So far, the plot I have is a sort of survival Sci-Fi horror. I have the first 4 area’s mapped out, sort of. Players will progress thru each ‘Level’ and accomplish a task or some such before moving to the next ‘Level’, all the while progressing the story.

I picked up a couple of the Green Ronin’s Beastiary’s for their AGE system to help create the baddies of the setting and I’ve even downloaded the Syrinscape App to help set the tone and ambience to the game,once we get playing.

It really is a learning experience to develop a home brew campaign/ one shot. A balance has to be met between story, exploration/ roleplaying and encounters. To much of one, over another can make a game boring. How hard do I make encounters? How many encounters per area do I do? How scripted should it be? Alot of questions to ask and answer.

My first draft of the first 4 area’s is done and a general outline for the following ones is nearly finished. A few decisions still need to be made. The biggest of which involves ‘Leveling Up’. Do I award XP (experience points) on an encounter by encounter basis or at story mile points? To what level do I allow characters advance to?

It’ll probably be a week or two before I try a run thru of the whole story with a few friends. I still have to finalize area layouts, story/ plot points, encounters, organize print outs etc etc.

In the next episode of this series I plan to tease the title and opening scrawl of the story… And possibly discuss some feedback I get from my first play test.

Until next time, hope to see you at the table.

– from The Man Cave

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