Category Archives: Musings

Bayhaven: A Hero Kids Contest!

CompassRoseI’ve been hard at work getting things ready for the release of 24 Hero Kids adventures this year. Right now I’m waiting on the cover art for the adventures, and once I have that in hand, I’ll be mostly ready to release the first two adventures. Target date: January 17th and 31st. We’ll see if I can hit the target. Once I get into the flow of things, releases should happen twice a month (or maybe more, if you’re lucky!) In the meantime, A Contest!
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Introducing Bayhaven

Bayhaven ThumbSo, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything here, and it’s for good reason. I’ve been rather busy. Unfortunately for all the 5e aficionados out there, it hasn’t been with D&D (other than my weekly Enounters group). I’ve been working on a setting for Hero Kids, and a series of adventures to go along with it. I’ve been working really hard on putting together rough outlines (and not so rough outlines) for adventures, and I’ve also recently finished the first pass of the city map; I’m going to share that with you below.

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The Resurgence of Tabletop Gaming and How to Hook Tabletop Gamers On RPGs

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This article is a contributed post.

Many Roleplayers will disagree that tabletop games and roleplaying games have experienced resurgence – after all, that can’t be the case if the industry never died down, now could it? But there’s no denying that tabletop games took a hit when console games overtook the market. Paul and Joao of Spellbound Games in Glasgow, the industry’s been kept alive mainly because of the social aspect of tabletop gaming, and because of the little niches that roleplaying games cater to.

Roleplaying games had long been cast into the shadows of pop culture and the media, but new trends have dictated their resurgence as a popular hobby. Strangely enough, much of this has to do with the mobile gaming industry – which is often touted to bring about the death of console gaming. As they say, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Gaming Realms, the company responsible for the games featured on entertainment hub Total Gold, has noted that games account for more than 50% of smartphone usage. Hundreds of thousands of apps are available on the mobile gaming markets, and some of them cater to the very same niches as tabletop games. Even Wizards of the Coast has tapped into the mobile market and released “Magic 2014”, a simulation of one of the oldest tabletop games known to man. Other games like “Knights of Pen and Paper” have broken down the tabletop gaming system for those more versed in console and mobile gaming as well.

Let’s not forget how HBO’s award-winning series “A Game of Thrones” has also emerged with its own board game, drawing fans of the series to begin discovering the wonderful world of tabletop RPGs. The industry is more alive than ever, which brings us to the question:

“How do I bring tabletop gamers into my RPG game?”

As Paul and Joao noted, the social aspect is a major selling point for the industry, and while it may witness surges of interest and periods of decline, RPGs will always have its own steadily growing loyal fanbase. Surprisingly, many of these people who are now loyal fans of their own tabletop games started out as tabletop gamers as well.

If you know anyone who seems to have suddenly become interested in playing tabletop games thanks to the new GOT board game, then welcome them with open arms. Spread the love of RPGs and try to introduce them to other games that interest you. Chances are, if RPGs just aren’t for them, their interest will wane quickly enough, but if you spark a new passion in them, it’s just one more player sitting around your table.

-by Corey Archer

Time As A Resource

alarmclock-512When we talk about good adventures (and heck, even good characters), we often refer to “resource management.”  A good “difficult” encounter forces players to expend many of their resources in the form of spells, potions, hit points, gold, and other “tricks” that don’t renew until a long rest (think Bardic Inspiration or Rage). A good group of characters makes optimum use of their resources, possibly saving that big trick for later, instead of just using it at the first opportunity.

I think we can all agree that, in that list of “resources” characters have, time should be included. The problem with time as a resource is that time is sort of abstract, especially in an RPG. Much like weather and seasons, there is often no tracking of time within the game unless there is a compelling reason to do so. By and large, I think that’s a good thing. Often time of day is a bit of minutiae that is ok to forget about. But other times, we need something concrete for players to help them visualize the amount of time they have available to them in order to complete a task. Otherwise, you have the problem of the “five minute workday.” Continue reading

Hoard of the Dragon Queen Episode 1 Random Encounter Sheets

In this season’s Hoard of the Dragon Queen D&D Encounters adventure, there’s a “wandering monster” table in Episode 1. As a DM, it’s a pain to flip back and forth between the different spells and monsters on top of navigating the adventure itself. So I made some cheat sheets for myself that combine the monsters from the different encounters. Now (for the random encounters, anyways) I have everything I need on one sheet.

I don’t think there are really any spoilers here, but the following is really for D&D Encounters DMs only. Click “read more” if that applies to you.

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Hero Kids Christmas Adventure!

hero-kidsA new Hero Kids adventure written by me was posted to Drive Thru RPG today. It is Christmas themed, but maybe not in the sense you’re thinking. It goes back to some of the Norse and Germanic traditions surrounding Christmas, including the Yuletide and Odin.

If you haven’t had the chance to get Hero Kids, now is a great time. You can introduce your kids to role playing on Christmas day, and their first adventure can be holiday themed! PLUS, if you order the adventure before December 26, email me (linky at top right – the red icon with an envelope) and I will send you a BONUS pdf with an adventure epilogue and three consumable magic items for your young adventurers. What are you waiting for??

I’ve Been Published!

120069-thumb140Just a quick announcement – Hero Forge Games, the makers of the Hero Kids! RPG system have published an adventure I wrote. Entitled Fire In Rivenshore, it challenges the heroes with putting out a fire in their home village. All is not as it seems however, and the kids must find the source of the fire – and grapple with a moral dilemma at the very end. More than just a “kill the monsters and gather the treasure” adventure – this adventure could even spark discussions on “the right thing to do” with your children! Check it out on DriveThruRPG. If you haven’t played Hero Kids! yet, I highly recommend it.

The Gamer Effect is Running a Contest!

The Gamer EffectIf you’ve been following the blog for a while now, you’ll know that I recently dropped off in my posting activity. Part of that is a redirection of my attention towards other things in my life. However, I have also been directing a lot of my blogging energies to articles I’ve been writing for The Gamer Effect. If you missed it, I’ve been doing a series over there about an RPG experiment I conducted over the summer with my gaming group. You can check out the first post in the series here.

Also, check out all the other great articles – there is quite a collection of bloggers that have been putting up some great stuff there. Plus, there’s a contest going on - just comment on this post, and you could win $25! Win-win-win! (That first win is for the joy you will get from reading my series.)

Living The Dream: How To Work In The Gaming Industry

money n diceI often hear, be it online or at cons, some variation of the following:
“Man, I’d love to work in the gaming industry, but the pay sucks and/or the industry is unstable. How would I support myself? Therefore, I will be stuck doing something else for the rest of my life.” Then, everyone listening nods sagely, empathizing with the plight of having a job that is not one’s dream job because of the money.

But what if I told you that there is a way to take money out of the equation? What if I showed you a way to become so rich that you would not have to worry about “the money” when looking for a job; instead, you could simply ask, “Is this something I would enjoy doing?” and quit the very day the answer became “no.” In short, what if I could show you how to retire (very, very) early? In as little as 10 years from now? I know I sound like a huckster, but there’s nothing to buy – just keep reading. Continue reading

Is The Blog Dead?

nicubunu_Emoticons_Sad_faceSo, you may have noticed that the frequency with which I update the blog here has kind of dropped off. Am I done blogging?
Probably not. However, I will not be updating on a regular basis anymore, mostly because I realized that the blog was beginning to encroach on time I’d rather spend with my family and on other hobbies. Yes, I have other hobbies.

This is not a “sorry I haven’t been blogging guys, I’ll blog again soon” post, mostly because I really hate those kinds of blog “posts.” They’re lame, and waste my time. Instead, I’m going to let you know what I’m working on, plus a kind of big announcement for the blog. Continue reading