What’s VFF Publishing, you ask? Why, it’s my publishing imprint! Yes, I write and publish novels. This blog is about gaming, but I see no reason not to redirect you to the Visions of Fantasy & the Future site (or Facebook, if you prefer) if you’re curious about what I write. I write fantasy and sci-fi. You can buy my novels at Amazon and other fine sellers of literature.
From the sky, it didn’t take long for the crew of Sea of Stars to locate the main battle. A group of fire giants worked to break the shackles binding the world serpent while frost giants attempted to prevent them from doing so.
The crew discussed options as they descended toward Eorôe. Their first thought was to help with fire support from their catapults. Straxius directed Sumner to barrel through a gap in the friendly lines, ramming the ship into several fire giants, sending them off the edge of the world. The world serpent managed to set Sea of Stars’s port side ablaze with its fiery breath. As they came around, the crew fought the fire with their decanter of endless water. Straxius reconsidered using the ship and they landed at the edge of the battlefield.
Wading into the fray, they worked their way through the salamander minions to reach the giants trying to break the shackles. While they weren’t entirely successful staying out of range of the world serpent’s breath, they did defeat enough giants to inspire the fire giant king to show himself.
He called the crew out, ordering them to cease their fighting and accusing the frost giants of being the true enemy. “It is THEY who upset the natural order of things. Too long have they dwelt in the light; it is time for the World Serpent to cleanse the land and renew the cycle of life. We have dwelt in darkness past our time and it is our turn now to dwell in light.”
The sole remaining frost giant had only one thing to say as she reaffirmed her willingness to fight to the death: “They seek to destroy all that we have built and nurtured. They seek to bring into darkness all that which dwells in light.”
Through a slip of the tongue, Rune challenged the fire giant king to single combat. The fire giant leader accepted, though made no promises his people would accept the outcome. Rune took to the sky and was nearly victorious, but was brought low by thrown boulders. Once the single combat was decided, Veya charged in and killed the fire giant king, rallying the frost giant reinforcements.
Though the force seeking to free the head of the world serpent from its shackles was defeated, there remained several other groups. Over the next several weeks, the crew of the Sea of Stars flew with their frost giant allies around the world, sending the fire giants back to the darkness and earning the Frost Giants and their vassals a century’s reprieve from the Change of Ages.
The crew feasted with the giants and recovered from their wounds before facing the final leg of their voyage, seeking out Sunless Sphere, no fewer than an additional two hundred days away. It was there, on the world of Varlden Dod orbiting the Black Star, that they could open the portal to the Positive Material Plane through which Garria, the reincarnation of Hrothgar the Penitent, would carry the Wand of Orcus to its ultimate destruction.
The whole story with Eorôe and Patria sphere: The outer lands of this disc world are populated by giants who stand vigilant against the threat from the other side. The interior is populated by two groups of avian-folk, White Ones and Black Ones (so named for the color of their feathers). The folk on the interior live and work together in peace, though technically, they are vassals of the giants (the frost and the fire, respectively). Every thousand years, the world serpent is awoken and the world flips. The frost giants, who have been in control of the light side for the last thousand years, bound the world serpent to prevent the Change of Ages, precipitating this conflict where the fire giants fight for their time in the light. As far as the White Ones and Black Ones are concerned, the Change of Ages is akin to a changing of the guard; it doesn’t overly affect their lives.
Eorôe’s Change of Ages is really a whole campaign… which was NOT the one the PCs were currently playing; they just came in at the end and acted as a wild card to change the outcome.
Now, onto the finale…
As the hammership approached, Straxius ordered his crew to bombard it with Sea of Stars’s catapults. While their aim was true, Boccob’s Barge continued to close and increased to ramming speed. With a crash, the two spelljammers collided. A mass of arms, legs, and torsos tumbled from Boccob’s Barge onto Sea of Star’s main deck. The Ghoul King contacted Straxius telepathically: “Surrender the wand and I will call off my minions. You may live and return to your mundane life of hauling cargo. I will even transfer all this infernal beer in my hold.”
The mass rose up and began attacking the crew, even while the Ghoul King and his minions attacked from afar. Straxius and Rune concentrated on the Ghoul King and a familiar woman, Gwen Sallas, the woman they freed from slavers on the Rock of Bral, now a vampire in the service of the Ghoul King.
As the Corpse Mound disgorged zombies to further challenge the crew, Straxius countered spells thrown by the Ghoul King, until the undead leader dimensioned door to a safer haven within the ship.
Though they lost some crew, they were eventually triumphant over the undead crew of Boccob’s Barge. Unfortunately, the ship itself was a total loss, so they looted everything they could from Straxius’s old ship, then scuttled her. There was no sign of the Ghoul King, yet curiously, he left behind all of his accumulated treasure, including Hrothgar the Penitent’s skull; the last piece of the Wand of Orcus. Sumner discovered the skull by licking the Ghoul King’s collection until he tasted the distinct taint of the Demon Prince of Undead.
The crew quickly decided to keep the pieces of the wand separate in the hopes the minions of Orcus would have more difficultly tracking them as they determined how best to dispose of the vile artifact. Meanwhile, they resume their flight to Patria sphere.
Weeks later, Sea of Stars arrived at her destination to find a world on fire… .
Maybe I’m being overly optimistic, but for 2018 I’m anticipating the announcement of a proper Fallout RPG. I have ZERO knowledge that such a thing will be happening, but with Modiphius producing a mini-based skirmish game and Fantasy Flight Games producing a board game, it seems like it’s only a matter of time. If it happens using a system with which I’m already familiar (like FFG’s narrative dice system, aka Genesys), then so much the better.
I’m also looking forward to the release of the Sentinels Comics superhero RPG. I like superhero games in concept, but I’ve never really been able to get into one. Maybe this will be another game that I wish I could like, but just can’t figure out how to utilize in campaign play, or maybe it won’t. I want to see it, though.
Frankly, I can’t think of a genre mash-up I want that isn’t already available.
Take any genre and you can add Comedy just by the way you play; you don’t need rules for that. Horror can also be interjected in just about any genre by just setting the proper mood. I’m sure opinions will vary wildly on this, but I usually don’t try to emulate a specific genre and be a real stickler that it NEVER devolves or evolves into something else. If we’re all having fun, I really don’t care if a sneaky, steal-the-MacGuffin adventure becomes a comedy heist.
Do miniatures count as an RPG Kickstarter? If so, then I’m going to go with Ryan Wolfe’s map posters & miniature Kickstarters for space ship and space stations. I’ve backed at least half-a-dozen of these so far and for my pledge, I get a miniature-scale ship/station poster map (with PDFs) and a highly detailed resin miniature and base. Not only that, but in each and every case, the rewards have shipped no later than a week after the funding period completed. I’ve pre-ordered products from Amazon with longer turn-around time than that.
You may be thinking “Hey! Miniatures are RPG-related products and this question is about RPGs!” OK, fine. If I have to pick an RPG Kickstarter than I would say was the best run, it’s a toss-up between the various Cypher System Kickstarters run by Monte Cook Games and Goodman Games’s Kickstarters. I’ve backed several projects from both of these companies and neither have failed to impress me with their communication, quality, and timeliness. That’s not to say I haven’t received products late from either of them, but their communication was open enough that the delay wasn’t unexpected and I never felt taken advantage of. Plus, working in publishing myself, the delays were within what I would consider reasonable given the nature of publishing and printing. They are both companies I have absolute confidence will deliver a quality product in a timely manner and I don’t hesitate to back their Kickstarters if they’re offering a product in which I am interested.
When we’re playing D&D, probably the film that gets quoted most is Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The Princess Bride gets some quote-love, but probably not to the same extent. It’s not a regular thing; what gets referenced is highly contextual in my group. Half the players are just as likely to bust out song lyrics for a given situation rather than a movie quote. Video games in the same genre are often referenced, as well.
For good gaming, my needs are simple: a notebook and something to write with. That’s all I NEED to come up with an evening’s entertainment. Now, depending on the game, I might have to consult rulebooks (especially for monsters), but I’m not sure that counts for the purpose of this question.
I don’t NEED minis, maps, sculpted terrain, a fancy table, form-fillable character sheets, etc. I like to have many of those, but they’re not essential tools. I suppose good friends and a comfortable gaming environment are very useful, but I wouldn’t call those essential tools.
Of the games I regularly play, D&D has enough resources, both on- and off-line, that I can find pretty much whatever I’m looking for with a fairly quick Google search. It makes sense, though. D&D is one of the oldest RPGs and probably has the largest player base of any RPG in the world. Ever since I started using the Internet in the 1990s, I’ve been able to find online resources for D&D (and there certainly was no lack of printed resources back then).
I gotta give a shout-out to the fan efforts to support WEG’s D6 Star Wars RPG and the fan supporting Goodman Games’s Dungeon Crawl Classics. There’s a ton of high-quality resources online for both of those games
Other GMs may be different, but I’m just happy if my players express some sort of happiness or satisfaction with the session. “Thanks, good game” is all I really need. That’s not to say I’ll turn down other forms of gratitude, I just don’t expect them.
I can’t really answer this. I don’t browse enough electronic RPG listing to know off-hand who utilizes PWYW AND has quality-enough products that they really should charge a minimum. I assume that any company who has something you’d expect to pay money for and is actually giving it away has a source of revenue to keep them solvent.
- Really, it's just a prankster octopus with novelty chattering teeth. twitter.com/Strange_Animal… 8 hours ago
- Them: Can you do The Thing today? Me: Yes. I need The Detail. Them: .... I've been waiting 6 HOURS so far. Guess it wasn't that urgent. 8 hours ago
- RT @chrislhayes: This is the best data we have, since they've decided to smuggle it through the CBO w/ an incomplete score. https://t.co/F6… 9 hours ago
- I get called a murderer for supporting a woman's right to choose, but have to tolerate literal Nazis? FUCK. THAT. 10 hours ago
- RT @clarkvalentine: Freedom from worry about bankrupting my family if I get sick is the freedom I want. Not the freedom to buy crappy insur… 10 hours ago
- 5th Ed. Spelljammer – The Wand of Orcus, session 27
- 5th Ed. Spelljammer – The Wand of Orcus, session 26
- #RPGaDAY 2017 – What do you anticipate most for gaming in 2018?
- #RPGaDAY 2017 – What is an RPG genre mash-up you would most like to see?
- #RPGaDAY 2017 – What has been the best-run RPG Kickstarter you have backed?
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