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 r/rpg is looking for more moderators!
Posted: 2021-06-21T21:09:36+00:00
Author: /u/NotDumpsterFire

Hello! It's been a while, and it's time once again to put out the call for some new mods! We are looking for a few new people to help us keep on top of the mod queue, and maybe someone who has ideas about community engagement.

Most of the time, being a mod isn't a particularly large job. We're looking for people who can check in periodically when they're active and help keep the queue of reported posts clear, which usually only takes a few minutes. Pay is $0; benefits include: death threats, downvotes, and demanding and borderline-abusive criticism. But on the whole /r/rpg's community is quite positive and easy to be a mod for.

If you're interested, please send us a modmail. Let us know the typical times of day you'd be likely to look at the queue (with time zone). You must be an active member of r/rpg (we'll be looking at your history and any notes), and while moderating experience is not required, please let us know about any experience or relevant expertise you do have.

We make use of the r/toolbox browser-plugin's User Notes-feature for a lot of our record keeping, so you should be able to read and edit those, which can make moderating exclusively through mobile clients difficult. (Chrome/Firefox)

Community Engagement

For this round of recruiting, we're particularly interested in candidates with ideas for community engagement - things like monthly threads, contests, reaching out to set up AMAs, etc. that they'd be willing to spearhead and maintain long-term.

We're also open to people who want to take on these community engagement roles, but don't want the added work of modding. If that describes you, please consider modmailing us with your idea (only things you'd be willing and able to spearhead please) instead of applying as a mod.

Depending on the volume of responses, it may take us a little while to sift through them, so please understand if we don't respond immediately.

– submitted by – /u/NotDumpsterFire
 Playing the character you want, not what the party needs
Posted: 2021-06-24T15:41:51+00:00
Author: /u/tabletoptheory

When I’m starting to put together a new game one of the most frequent questions I get from my players is “What is everyone else playing?”. It’s a good question and it comes from a place of caring.

The idea of creating a balanced party makes lots of sense. If you’re playing a video game you probably want to create a character or a party that is reasonably good at lots of things so that any one challenge doesn’t become too overwhelming.

In the world of RPG parties this can equate to players wanting to make sure that they make a well rounded group that can equally overcome lots of different potential problems. Sometimes this means players choose characters because they feel like they want to have equal representations of classes and sometimes players choose to make different characters so they aren’t stepping on each other's toes.

However, the thing that concerns me as a GM is players choosing their characters based on other people's choices. When my players ask “What is everyone else playing?” and I lay out the different types of characters that have already been chosen by other players, sometimes they decide to play something different.

And that’s always rubbed me the wrong way. So I made a video about it and you can watch it here if you like: Why Party Balance Doesn't Matter

When players change their minds based on the choices of others I know they are generally trying to be accommodating. But the act of creating a similar character doesn’t immediately equate to a problem between players. In fact I’d argue that creating similar characters can actually be a ton of fun! Some game systems, like Tales from the flood require you to choose different character archetypes, but lots of other game systems like Werewolf: work best when all the players are playing Characters from the same tribe.

In a popular system like D&D5e where it’s really easy to make two characters very similar, the fact that ability scores, ancestries and backgrounds are different will probably mean no two are the same. As a GM i’ve always wanted to let my players' imaginations run wild. I find that when a player is given the chance to play what they want they get to really express themselves and have as much fun as they can. But for reasons of risk, individualism or just being nice they will pump their own brakes and create a different character than the one they had in mind.

The instinct to be prepared for as many facets of adventure as possible is a natural reaction to how lots of people approach risk assessment. Risk in this context is the potential of gaining or losing something of value (like a character). So when people, your players, know they’ll be taking their characters into certain danger it would make sense that they would engage in some risk assessment.

However, I believe that being unprepared is oftentimes the thing that requires the most innovation in a given situation.

Playing a character that you want to play, regardless of the rest of the party, is oftentimes the best way to create this kind of situation. If you’re a GM and you’re feeling uneasy about your players all playing fighters or wizards for your next campaign, take a minute and think about how it would really affect your campaign.

Would it really be so difficult?

Do any of the combats or puzzles really require magic?

Could any of the situations not be overcome by the players taking the time to problem solve around a given situation using the skills and items they have at their disposal?

If you’re a player and you don’t like the idea of being unprepared, ask yourself.

How many games have you played without a dedicated healer?

If you don’t have a healer it doesn’t mean you can’t be successful, it just means you need to be aware of how you approach things that can hurt you. A lack of “balance” in the party doesn’t mean you’re going to fail automatically. It just means you’re going to have to think through the situation.

This is not me saying that a diversity of character types is a problem. Far from it. The point I’m really trying to drive home is that when you’re a player you don’t need to worry so much about what the other players are playing. The point of a roleplaying game is to create the character you want to play and have fun. If you want to make a balanced party and know what everyone else is playing, go for it!

You don’t need to make it your responsibility to change who or what you play based on the choices of others. I think Party balance needs to take a back seat to people playing what they want. Because in my experience if a player gets to flex their creativity in character creation then they will continue to do so during the game.

– submitted by – /u/tabletoptheory
 New golden rule to follow. If there is a serious threat to something the players care about, make sure they're aware of this before it happens.
Posted: 2021-06-24T21:08:11+00:00
Author: /u/ugotpauld

Recently a player became a vampire and we were all excited to see how this would play out. They were meeting with a group that they didn't know were elite undead hunters who were investigating in the area, my hope was this would lead to some interesting tense dialogue. However early into the interaction the players threatened to unleash their vampire friend to kill them if they didn't stop harassing the people in the town.

Now here I should have thought to myself, how do I make sure the players know what danger they're in before they push this any further. Instead the hunters killed the vampire while the other players looked on in shock. While the vampire had a resurrection magic thing that kept him alive we were all just a bit sad about losing this interesting plot hook, all because i didn't make the threat to the vampirism known (and also because the players were thuggish in their tactics (and because they didn't help their friend who was being murdered for some reason))

Exception to the rule if you're doing some brutal meatgrinder campaign, in which case screw with the player however much you see fit.

– submitted by – /u/ugotpauld
 Help finding specific rpg
Posted: 2021-06-24T20:41:52+00:00
Author: /u/Um_Oraculo

I once found an rpg (several years ago) where XP IS currency AND hp, and this metacurrency are cristals that are grouped, like, 10 xp cristals fuse into one 10xp crystal, 10 10xp crystals fuse into another colour of 100xp crystal, and I finally have enough money to spend on ttrpg, but can't find it anymore bc searching crystals only lead to Steven Universe related or Crystal named RPG's. I also remember that you could spend (at least) one 1000XP crystal to "checkpoint" and this is in universe, not skill, literally cloning you using this XP you invested. If someone has a clue I would be glad, I'm searching for it but can't find anything related.

– submitted by – /u/Um_Oraculo
 What's a good superhero RPG that's not just about combat?
Posted: 2021-06-25T00:17:23+00:00
Author: /u/ThePiachu

My group has been mulling over a game idea that we essentially boiled down to "mid-level superheroes in a modern world", kind of like Invincible without the high-end stuff in something like World of Darkness (a bit darker, a bit scarier, but not grimdark). So kind of like The Boys.

So I was wondering what would be a neat system to try for that game? I'm leery of anything that just focuses on combat and "how hard could a Hulk smash, let's stat that out". Ideally we'd have some good deal of concrete powers, something that could last us like 50 sessions, and wouldn't be too crunchy.

I've played Cortex, and it's way too crunchy for our online play. I heard of Mutants and Masterminds, and AFAIR it was a bit too combat-focused. ICONS seems okay enough, but could do something better.

So what would you recommend?

– submitted by – /u/ThePiachu
 White Wolf Alternatives?
Posted: 2021-06-24T17:54:22+00:00
Author: /u/decocloud

I'm not personally a fan of White Wolf games, specifically I don't like GMing the combat mechanics but I have a bunch of players that love the very detailed Vibe/Aesthetics of Vampire the Masquerade (and they LOVED the creative aspects of making spells in Mage). Do yall have any recommendations for alternatives that sort of hit the intricate "feel" of those but maybe have more streamlined combat mechanics (if they have combat at all)?

– submitted by – /u/decocloud
 Looking for good 2 player TTRPG
Posted: 2021-06-24T23:37:47+00:00
Author: /u/PizzaCatSupreme

I want something similar in theme to CoC or MoTWbut build for one keeper and one player. I know scenarios exists for CoC but I want something more.

– submitted by – /u/PizzaCatSupreme
 I'm convinced that the amount of effort GMs put into recruiting & screening directly correlates to how successful the game is.
Posted: 2021-06-24T03:50:08+00:00
Author: /u/DirtyRPGGal

I'm sorry, but I'm going to start out ranting:

I was recruited for a game that was advertised for a weekday night in my timezone. I only have 2 free week nights so it felt like I had won the lottery. I was ecstatic, I had wanted to try this system for a while and the person running the game was very friendly and enthusiastic. The hype train was rolling.

Then problems arose.

They listed the system but never specified which edition of the rules they were running turns out it wasn't the most current one. Then after recruiting everyone they started a poll to find out what day worked for everyone. Then they announced that certain things would / would not be part of the game that were in the core rulebook. They did not screen the players and just accepted whoever replied to their ad first. Then they scheduled three seperate session 0s on three different days because players kept missing the weeks in advance games. Then they announced the first game would be in a month because they felt people were not ready.

Meanwhile I had assumed the game would be on the day & time listed. I read the core rulebook and had a character ready within the two week time to the first Session 0. I watched some streams so I could understand the game a bit better. I went and bought a webcam because they advertised the game to use one. I showed up 5 minutes early ready to go. Rinse and repeat for the first 3 session zeros. I joined the game 2 months ago and we have yet to play or even have everyone on at the same time. I left the game.

I feel like this is just basic concepts, but I've seen so many GMs do this while advertising, recruiting, and organizing their game that I feel like it needs to be laid out clear as day:

  1. Pick a day and time and stick with it. Don't recruit a bunch of players and THEN figure it out, what if the scheduling conflicts are not resolvable? Why would you set yourself up for that kind of problem?
  2. Screen your players - make sure they want the same kind of campaign that you do, make sure they have the equipment to run the game. Make sure they are not offensive & rude at least.
  3. Be clear about the system and the edition that you are running.
  4. If you say that camera and microphone is required, then require it.
  5. Discuss player limits. I wasn't prepared when I discovered a player was going to play as an 6 year old in a game about horror. The only people who loved the idea was the GM and that player.
  6. If players are not responding to you within 3 weeks, it's probably time to stop postponing games and find another player.
  7. Elaborate on your ad listing. 2 sentences is not enough information to convey that you're running a year long campaign in this setting with these rules using these kinds of themes and tone. It's just not possible. You're setting yourself up for failure.
  8. Screen your players - yes, I'm saying it twice. You don't have to do over the phone interviews, but at least have them write a paragraph or something. We're going to be spending 4 hours a week, every week, for the next year. Would you really just do that with a random stranger off the streets?

TLDR; I'm sorry for being a giant bitch right now. But I've been wanting to play in a non-D&D game for years and when I finally find one it doesn't go as well as I hoped. See above for some tips to recruit players successfully.

– submitted by – /u/DirtyRPGGal
 Anyone play the Spectaculars RPG?
Posted: 2021-06-24T23:19:26+00:00
Author: /u/fireinthedust

I picked it up after Gail Simone posted it on twitter. It's a neat concept for an RPG. I'm curious if people have tried it out.

I'm interested in how it plays, compared to other games. Is it more than a pick up & play game?

– submitted by – /u/fireinthedust
 Unique Cultural RPGs
Posted: 2021-06-24T20:17:38+00:00
Author: /u/JewishKilt

I'm struggling to find an RPG that fits Israeli Jewish culture.

While games like D&D or VTM feel fine when set in a European/American setting, they feel super weird when set in the Middle East, or played in Hebrew. The tropes don't transfer.

First of all, the whole knight on a white horse thing is super Christian, goes with the whole saint deal, and the same goes for witchcraft - these are tropes deeply imbeded in Christian mythologies, not Jewish ones. And when it comes to a modern setting like VTM, the idea of Jewish vampires stinks of blood libel which spoils the mood.

Also, I really can't stress enough how silly it sounds in Hebrew to talk about dwarves and spells. A friend of mine (fellow Israeli) literally refuses to play RPGs unless it's done in English, and I don't blame him.

I'm looking for RPGs/Settings from non-anglophone cultures, other than Nepal and Native-American. Jewish might be aiming too high, but maybe Arab/Muslim?

Sci-fi is an obvious solution, but for a ancient/contemporary setting... help?

EDIT: A bunch of great suggestions here! I'm looking into Gurps, Hillfolk, and Dream Apart. Thank you all for your help!

– submitted by – /u/JewishKilt
 Searching for rules- light games to introduce new players with
Posted: 2021-06-24T23:03:14+00:00
Author: /u/concerned-throw-away

I'm thinking to run some one-shots/small campaign with my friend group. Most of us are into ttrpgs and roleplaying in general. But, I have 2 friends that are entirely new to the hobby. Not only that but they're easily overwhelmed. Like really easily overwhelmed. To the point that they both avoid trying out new games and might cry on the spot if they feel confused.

Thing is, they like the concept of classic medieval fantasy ala D&D and I would like to give them a similar experience. So, I'm searching for a fun, rules-light and low lethality fantasy game. I'm looking at the Quest RPG or maybe Dungeon World? What are y'all recommendations?

– submitted by – /u/concerned-throw-away