Friday, May 17, 2013

Torchbearer Burns Brighter

Luke announced, due to hitting 300% of his funding goal, that he will be making all the cover gold foil stamped, adding some fancy end papers, and making the overall production values better. So, kudos to everyone who is backing this. 
If you aren't backing this, you really should. Not only is this is a different kind of game, it's a different kind of Kickstarter. There are no stretch goals, which is usually one of the biggest drivers of support. So when Luke announced the above, it was because he wanted show his support for the massive response this game has received. 
The funding levels are completely reasonable. You're paying what this will cost if you wait to buy it in a retail store. What's particularly exciting is that PDFs will be available (Luke is not the biggest fan of these). Even if you don't want to spring for the full $35, you can still get in own the action for $15.
Do it.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Free RPG Day Burning Wheel Giveaway Update

The submissions are starting to roll in, but I want more. We're a month out from Free RPG day, so there's plenty of time to trim those ideas into 140 characters.

This post is also to add a twist to the contest. I will be running the best hook on Saturday as a one-shot at my FLGS. I'll either post audio or a play transcript of the session.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Magic Item Monday: The Balance Blades

Scholars of Empyrealia and Demonology may tell the tale of two brothers who could never quite see eye to eye. One day, when their disagreement snowballed, as they often did, the two brothers decided to duel to settle their differences. For every advantage gained, each brother exposed a weakness. As the final years of their age came to a close, neither would put aside the sword and fought to their last breath. How these swords found their way to the realm of men remains a mystery. 

Angelking Sword

The steel of this sword has a blue tint. For a neutral character, it functions as a +1 Longsword. For a Lawful character, it functions as +2 Weapon and has an increased threat range against chaotic opponents. Chaotic wielders still receive the +1 bonus as a neutral character, but should be treated as having the lowest luck score for the purposes of assigning hits.

Demonking Sword

The steel of this sword has a red tint. For a neutral character, it functions as a +1 Longsword. For a Chaotic characters who wield it still receive the +1 bonus, but it also heals the wielded 1d8 hit points each time a living creature is slain. Lawful wielders still receive the +1 bonus as a neutral character, but should be treated as having the lowest luck score for the purposes of assigning hits.

Those who dual-wield these weapons may get a glimpse of the true nature of these weapons. A natural roll of 1 or 20 applies to both weapons. Should both a 1 and 20 be rolled, count both swings as a miss. The luck penalty, regardless of alignment, is ignored.  Other Alignment-specific abilities still function as normal. There is rumor among bards that a way exists to forge these blades anew as a single hilted, dual-bladed weapon. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Burning Wheel Sells Out

Today Luke Crane, via Twitter, announced that Burning Wheel Gold is sold out. I asked if we would see a reprint, but didn't hear back. Either way, with the future availability of BWG uncertain, you should pause a moment and submit a plot hook to get your mitts on a free copy. Do it!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

One Year, One Hundred Posts, Time to Give Stuff Away

This is the 100th post on this blog. The 29th of April was also the one year anniversary. To celebrate this aligning of events, I'm going to give away a free copy of the Burning Wheel Gold book to one lucky internet stranger. How does one get lucky? Simple. Submit to me your best fantasy plot hook in 140 characters or less. Multiple entries are acceptable. Entries outside the US are permissible.

The winner will be announced on June 15th, 2013 (Free RPG Day!). All entries will be posted to serve as a GM resource.

You can submit one of two ways: email me your submissions at gazrax at gmail dot com or send me a tweet @earthlightacdmy.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Torch Has Been Lit

Last week I posted about Torchbearer, which is the Burning Crew's take on old school dungeon crawl games. Things were so hectic in the unimagined world, I failed to notice the Kickstarter launch for that game. Not only has it already hit its funding goal, but it did so within the first few hours of launch. As of this writing, Torchbearer has just over $37,000 in funding.

If you're not sold on at least shelling out for the PDF, let me try and sway you. The Burning Wheel family of games is about tough decisions. The biggest drivers of play are your BITs (Beliefs, Instincts, and Traits). Those three things paint a target on your character's chest that tell the GM and the players, "This is who I am, this is what I want." Honestly, it can be a little intimidating, especially if you cut your teeth on the world's most popular roleplaying game.

The shallower end of the pool is Mouse Guard, which I jokingly refer to as Burning Training Wheels. This game cuts a lot of what might be perceived as "bloat" from the full BW game. Rather than 50+ pages of skills, there are 22-all encompassing (for the purposes of the game). Characters are made with only one belief and one instinct, as opposed to the three standard. The role of introducing complications is much clearer. And of course, you are a painfully adorable mouse on a mission: ensure that all of the Territories survive another season.

Torchbearer, based on the information available, seems to fall between the two. It retains the simplified skill systems of Mouse Guard, but introduces a resource management mechanic that will be central to your survival in the dark parts of the world. Every torch burns for an exact amount of turns, every item you add to your pack takes up precious space. And, for the first time in the Burning family of games, there is a class system.

Get the full scoop here.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Cultural Place of RPGs

One thing I've been thinking about recently is the cultural place of RPGs. Now, being one of the new broods, I can't speak to what it was like to play these games in the 70s, 80s, or 90s. I can, based on my experience, extrapolate that these were considered kind of weird, nerdy things to do. However, even from the beginning, it was clear that RPGs had carved out some permanent location within our culture.

In spite of my age, I do feel that the's games have shifted their cultural location. In the early years it was this totally new phenomenon. Following that, it was the preferred scapegoat of those individuals who seek to explain their problems on external forces. And after that, it became one of the primary points of inspiration for computer and video RPGs, bringing a whole new group of gamers into the fold.

Even now, I feel this shifting. Shows like Futurama and The Big Bang Theory (which is terrible, and really only about "nerd" culture in this peripheral, "on the outside looking in" at a stereotype kind of way) point to reference RPGs. I hesitate to use the word acceptance, but there is at least a general, (hopefully) non-hostile way that this is a thing that people do in some form, whether it be gathering friends around a table, arranging games through message boards, Google, or Roll d20, or playing the computer interpretations of the genre.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Doors of the Iron Tavern Are Open

If you're not reading the Iron Tavern, you're doing it wrong. If you love talking about RPGs and you're not maintaining your own blog, you're doing it wrong. Here's your chance to correct things: The Iron Tavern is seeking a guest blogger to make a post once a week. Check the full details here.