RPG Videos


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Comedy Relief In Role Playing Games

The idea of using role-playing games for comic relief applies not just to games that are already intended for comic relief, either the system itself (such as Paranoia, HOL, etc), but to more standard (usually "serious") game systems where the players all agree to give comedy a run - playing for comic relief can even be done on a per-character basis, even within a game that is NOT geared toward comedy, though the style, content and intensity of this type of play is best kept within the players' overall tolerance for "shenanigans" - this is not something one should do at every game, but an opportunity which may present itself from time to time.

While rules-lite game systems tend to lend themselves to comedic role-playing a bit better than heavier number-crunching games, due to the freer narrative without the accompanying requirement for dice rolls to perform every action, even game systems heavy in the mechanics department can provide an entertaining venue for the rpg comedian, or as some internet rpg humor lists refer to them, zanies or loonies.

Using the general theme of the scenario or adventure itself, the fairly-universal semi-insurance that the DM isn't going to outright kill you if you're being entertaining (even if not necessarily wise), and the typical probability of the game system's success/failure mechanics, consistent methods of comedic playing, usually of the "incompetent, bumbling, sidekick" slapstick variety, can be played right alongside the swarthy mercenary and the mysterious elven sorceress. Endearing fumblers have long accompanied more serious and heroic protagonists in novels and movies, and so too it can be in role-playing games.

In the case of a more densely-concentrated rules system, for example 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons, the urge for comedy can spring as inspiration, as much from happenstance or even frustration, as much as genuine premeditated comedic intent. As a practical example, a player in a four-person adventuring party was of a more "cinematic" bent, play-style wise, and felt he was constantly being penalized by the game system used, for his attempted over-the-top heroic actions, possibly more suited to a swashbuckling or buddy-cop martial arts movie, than a gritty fantasy dungeon crawl.

Deciding to make the system work in his favor (or die in the process, most likely), the player's fairly generic, gruff Dwarf Paladin, evolved into the cluelessly overconfident Dwarf Paladin who saw himself as a righteous crusader, protected and blessed by his faith, hailed by all as a shining icon of heroism and bravery. The ancient drawbridge leading over the bubbling black water to the tower proper, looks weathered and unsteady - this naturally then would be the time for the plate-mail clad Dwarf to make a prodigious leap to the tower. Failing that, as he did, this would instead be the time for him to crash bodily through the rotten timbers and plummet dozens of feet into the rancid murk below, requiring his companions to lower a rope to pull him out, as he patted himself on the back for taking the risk and sparing his friends the danger.

No longer would this holy warrior skulk around in dark corners, giving Evil the satisfaction of waiting for someone to "check for traps", this warrior strode bravely into darkened corridors, hundreds of feet below ground, heedlessly kicking in thick doors leading to unknown chambers, filled with chittering and slithering noises. An inspired tumble between the legs of the ogre, and a failed roll accompanying the action, would find the Paladin played like a croquet ball by the hulking ogre as he slammed the short-statured hero into the next room with his massive gnarled two-handed club. Granite hammer in one hand, shield in the other, crossbow bolts sticking out of his breastplate, the Paladin would charge zealously into teeming masses of kobolds and gnolls, plate armor glinting in flickering torchlight - sometimes he would even emerge from these battles still conscious (though not often).

But there are more ways than bumbling, to get a bit of comedy relief in a game. Sometimes it just takes a quirk for an otherwise competent character, even if the quirk is not-so realistic to the setting. The keen-eyed Elven Archeress, respected among the party for her skill with a bow, when asked if she was ready for the upcoming battle, replied in a bubbly tone, "Like, duh - fer sure!" Some players consider it a mark of success for their fellow players to beg, or better yet, threaten them, to NOT play "so much" in character. The Valley Girl Elf Archer was surely one such time that would count toward this end.

"Mama Cici" proved that you could be both competent AND a bumbler AND realistic, and still provide some comic relief, in the way of pure normalcy. The overweight middle-aged cook and mother of four joined the adventuring party, armed only with her good dishes (including her trusty iron skillet), determination and homespun wisdom handed down to her from her Grandmammy. Borrowing a little from 90s telephone psychic "Miss Cleo", Touched by an Angel's Della Reese, Martin Lawrence's "Big Mama" and Nell Carter, Mama Cici could dispense cautionary tales and advice at the drop of a hat, but her lack of skills in "Ride Horse" and "Fight" really proved to be disadvantages on a cross-country adventure.

As for the Halfling Pit-Fighter and seven foot tall barbarian professional wrestler, perhaps they would be best left forgotten...

Caution, restraint and good judgment should be used by players attempting to "liven up" a game with comic relief, especially if the other players are obviously hoping for a more serious game, and especially when you get lots of frowns, frustrated sighs and even more especially, threats of bodily harm. Sometimes one must put away the whoopie cushions and cream pies for the sake of the gaming group and continuity. You wouldn't want a deranged psycho-killer to suddenly go rampaging through a forest of big-eyed chittering animal characters any more than the tactician and the gunslinger want to be thrown off their timing by the clown next to them priming his water-squirting flower.

Jason J. Patterson - June 29, 1973 - Small town in northeast Oklahoma on Hwy. 66, U.S.A.


In my teens, I began writing short stories and home-made "choose-your-own-adventure" type "books" (really just a few pieces of typed paper stapled together), and personal thoughts on philosophy and metaphysics and culture, as well as personal and dream journals

I have also written a number of informal, freely released supplements, rules errata, resources and scenarios for tabletop role-playing games, as well as a simple board game and a couple of dice game rules sets.

As a child and young adult, I was an avid reader, mostly of fantasy and some horror and science fiction novels (Dean R. Koontz, Piers Anthony, David Eddings, Dragonlance, etc.), as well as books related to language, the paranormal, philosophy and various other references, with boxes of literally hundreds of books - this lead to an interest in developing my own writing skills, and I also have some ability at freehand sketching/cartooning - with examples online at Elfwood and Deviantart.

TES V: Skyrim Will Be Officially Moddable

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

A Bethesda community representative has just confirmed that the creation engine for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will be released to the public. "We've always been impressed with what the community has done with our tools. Like the Elder Scrolls Construction Set for Morrowind and Oblivion, we plan to release the Creation Kit so you guys can mod Skyrim," stated the rep on the official forums.

PC gamers can now prepare for the inevitable release of several hundred Nude Nords mods, along with neat weird projects (Ice Climbers mod, anyone?) and amazing full world conversions by the most talented project designers. Skyrim's release will be on November 11, but the creation engine may not come out at the same time as the game.

View the original article here

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Creativity Through Role-Playing Games

There are a number of ways to get inspiration for fiction writing. Actually, I don't even think they have a name for that number. We're surrounded by inspiration constantly, no matter what our conditions are. The problem is, for many people, they get some inspiration, jot down a few notes, and it ends there. Maybe there is a lack of ambition or the inevitable doubts begin to pour into the conscious mind about difficulties and challenges in making it as a writer (there are challenges in everything, so don't let that stop you). There can be something else too. The potential writer may have no idea how to assemble a story.

Yes, we all have to take English classes in High School and anyone who goes to college usually has to take a writing course. Having the ability to write does not necessarily yield the ability to tell a story however. Unfortunately, a number of potentially good stories (that could have been great novels), fall away to nothingness because the author decided that they couldn't tell a story. Maybe others decide to pay some money and sign up for a writing class or purchase books on creative writing and story telling. These methods are more formal.

There is an informal way that you can develop your ability as a storyteller and have some serious fun doing it: Role-Playing Games (RPGs). I'm not talking about putting Final Fantasy XIII in your game console. I'm talking about the good old-fashioned dice, pen, and paper games like Dungeons and Dragons, Rifts, Vampire, Cyberpunk, and a whole host of others. So you may be asking why. Why the pen and paper games? Don't you have to imagine all of the action instead of seeing it on a screen? Yes, and the second question answered the first question. That's the point. You can roll dice and write numbers all you want, but these games require imagination and creativity to weave those dice rolls and numbers into a fluid, moving story that keeps everyone engrossed.

In order to have lasting interest in a gaming campaign (which is an ongoing story that is built on session after session), the Dungeon Master (or Game Master), who is the overall "storyteller", must keep things interesting and allow for a good balance of character development, plot movement, and action. Even as a player, you would be responsible for the development of your own character, having them grow and change with their experiences. These are all important aspects to creating a good short story or novel.

From personal experience, I can say that Role-Playing games were a big help in developing my own ability to tell stories. When I was first a Game Master, many years ago, I had trouble keeping everyone's interest, including my own. My content was typically nothing more than rehashed TV or movies. As time went on and I watched other people as Game Masters (and later Dungeon Masters in Dungeons and Dragons), I began picking up on how to weave that creative web, first with my own player characters, and then with my own worlds and stories as I worked up the confidence to once again delve into being the overall storyteller. I had actually developed so well, that none of the other players wanted to be the Dungeon Master or Game Master, they didn't feel that they could maintain an intricate storyline like I could. They even suggested that I become an author.

The key to opening your ability as a creative writer is to engage in activities that require creativity. No matter your raw talent, taking time to develop and nurture that skill will pay off with the ability to really draw in an audience. Who knows? If you put your mind to it, you could even become a bestselling author!

Mike Saxton

Make Video Games - Creating Hot Role Playing Games

Giving enthusiasts the ability to make video games gives this industry yet another arsenal for keeping interests high in an already most preferred form of indoors entertainment since?this technology first hit the circuit. Of the many different types of video game formats RPG, short for role playing games, is very popular. It's technology enables users direct interaction with all aspects of creation including but not limited to mapping, selection of events, control over game intensity, graphics, and a host of many other interactive features. After making a map or the pinnacle from which to stage your adventures you would then create the parts of the (rpg) that make up the characters, good or bad. Events are then created and placed within the map completing your rpg. In working with maps you have access within the program to select graphics, good or bad, for villains, heroes, even monsters and enemies you simply name them and give them stats. Not to worry the bark is worse than the bite. An easy to use?system tutorial is available for references and queries.

Having the ability to make video games, with an RPG maker, stories can be told in many different surroundings, in this case, events. Events anywhere from simple text and graphic displays to variable-wrangling technical tricks for creating intense RPG story lines are possible and unlimited. Quality RPG makers have grand features like interaction capabilities, some of which, allow the user to edit battle animations with full control of graphical special effects to multiple?rpg characters during creation as well as spectacular battle scene layouts, customizable character graphics, and script editing options. That's right! Script editing capabilities. That puts you right in the drivers seat and gives you complete control of the entire engine's inner workings while you create your masterpieces. A chance at script editing to make video games unique to you.

No programming Experience? No Problem. One of the best features of a quality RPG maker is that you don't need to know anything at all about how to make video games. A quality RPG maker can have you building maps, houses, stores, characters and more with behaviors to match in no time because the easy to use user friendly interface! There is what they call a Ruby Game Scripting System (RGSS) in each RPG maker and the sole reason for it is to give the user complete control for adding customized actions to the game. No worries though. If you don't know how it's done there are reference materials included. So while building maps by working with tiles,? setting events, configuring triggers, and learning script language may seem intense, but (RPG)? makers actually makes learning how to make video games very easy and lots of fun!

Donald Whitehead:
Did you know that you could make video games and sell them? How much could you earn? Discover how to make video games unique to you....Sell them, give them away, start your own collection! Learn More At: Make_Video_Games

The Role of the Cleric in Role Playing Games

The Cleric is one of the most long standing playable character classes in many role-playing games. This role is also one of the most expansive and potentially powerful characters usable, depending on the edition of the game that one is playing.

Typical attributes of the Cleric have one well-skilled in both combat and the use of divine magic. They can also be quite powerful healing agents, due to the large number of healing magic which is available to them. Some version of the Cleric even have power over the dead, having the ability to either manipulate or repel the presence of the un-dead in the game. Owing to this, most campaigns are very well suited with having a Cleric in their presence.

Initially, Clerics were used almost as a combination of a soldier and a wizard, giving them both skills in combat as well as spell-casting power, although not that of a magician. The first edition version of the Cleric, however, was not a particularly exciting character and while most teams considered having a Cleric for the purposes of needing a healer on the team, most players did not find much excitement in being assigned this role. This was something which was addressed in later editions of role-playing games, however.

The second edition of the game gave the Cleric a bit more to fill out their characters, as anyone creating the character of a Cleric was required to choose a specific religion to which the Cleric belonged. This religion also influenced and governed the Cleric's powers, making the types of spells unique to the religion of which the Cleric was devoted.

Players could either be on the side of Lawful Good or Chaotic Evil, making the types of spells possible range between Death and Tyranny or Healing and Life. The power of the Clerics was a divine power, being drawn from the specific god or gods which the Cleric was devoted to, allowing a great number of different Clerics to populate any game.

In the third edition of these games, the idea of devotion was taken a step further and the Clerics were forced to choose a particular patron to devote themselves to before aligning themselves within one step of that devotion. For example, if a Cleric devoted themselves to a patron of Lawful Good, the Cleric themselves must either be affiliated with Lawful Good, Neutral Good, or Lawful Neutral.

This would direct the types of spells available to the Cleric into being even more specific and focused, making nearly each Cleric made individual and unique. This character class then becomes more useful and exciting to the members of a group compared to the first edition's simple task of being the requisite healer.

Players are more apt to become a cleric now, with so much detail and choice available to anyone who chooses to become a Cleric. In this manner, these games have only expanded on the richness that they provide their players and, when making each subsequent edition more rich, they will continue to keep and draw more fans in.

Victor Epand is an expert consultant for board games, chess boards, and dungeons and dragons miniatures. You will find all these things and more if you visit used board games, chess boards.

Fantasy Role Playing Games and Fairy Tales About Fairies - Powell, Prince of Dyfed

One of the more interesting fairy tales involving the land of fairy Powell, Prince of Dyfed is one of many early fantasy stories from the land of Arthur (Wales). There are a number of stories regarding the exploits of Powell; however the one which introduces him is perhaps of the most interest for those who play fantasy role playing games. In this story Powell is out hunting when he meets and befriends a fairy king. The fairy king is having trouble with an enemy he can't defeat, so he and Powell switch places so that Powell may continue the war with the other fairy princes and defeat their leader.

It is interesting how human many of the fairies seem in this fairy tale, very different from much of what we currently think of fairies as being. Fairies it would seem from this and a number of other stories gained their abilities primarily through knowledge, their ability to know almost anything. For like Powell the fairy king too enjoys hunting and holds court, similarly enough that they could pass for each other.

The idea behind what made a hero in the eyes of the Welsh is also interesting to take note of. For it was said of Powell that;

"He could ride a horse, draw a bow, and speak the truth. He was always honored by men, and he kept his faith and his promises to women. The children loved him, for he loved them. In the castle hall, he could tell the best stories. No man, bard, or warrior, foot

holder or commoner, could excel him in gaining and keeping the attention of his hearers."

One must of course realize that this story was indeed edited by those who wrote it down and so some of this description may have been based on the thinking of the 1800s. However this description of a hero is useful for anyone trying to create an RPG or fantasy character which will have to deal with fairies, for fairies believe very firmly in honesty, and admire greatly the skills of story telling and music. Indeed Powell would not have done so well in fairy land if he had not had these traits.

Another quality Powell had was politeness, for in his discussion with the king of the fairies it was how polite he was that allowed him to become friends with the king of the fairy. This theme is repeated over and over throughout the stories of fairies that no matter how rude they are one must be very polite to them. For in politeness a person will be rewarded by fairies and in rudeness they will cursed.

In fantasy stories it would be easy to use the idea of politeness and fairy curses and blessings as an element to add interest to the story. For with this element the characters gain unique powers, or interestingly horrible curses. For temporary lapses of rudeness a person could become horribly cursed, and may need to go on a quest to find the fairy who laid the curse on them, or to prove themselves worthy of getting it removed.

The story of Powell is of interest also because it shows a mortal entering the world of fairy to help a fairy king. One could easily see how a story that followed the exploits of someone who switched places with a fairy could be very interesting. Or of someone who entered fairy land and had to return home to grow bored. For in Powell's later exploits he is constantly entering realms of the fairy because he misses the excitement of living within this realm.

Ty Hulse is helping to develop dragonsmeet.net as center for role playing games, where you can learn about the impact of fantasy role playing games He is also the creator of Zeluna.net for fairy tale stories

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What Indiana Jones May Teach You About Writing Role Playing Games

One of the reasons that the fellow with the whip was so popular were all the traps protecting the treasures.

Most role playing games involve finding a single treasure, and so in the Indiana tradition they need to be protected by traps. The one everyone knows about is the giant ball, and that can be played in special ways-can it roll uphill? Will it force people down a certain tunnel or pit? Does it seem to be being controlled by an unknown force?

A lesser known one is the IEHOVAH trap from The Last Crusade. The premise is this:

You need to step on the correct stones in order to cross the gorge and collect the treasure. But instead of the code word being 'Jehovah' its the old spelling 'Iehovah'.

A variant of this may be spelling goddess as 'goddeff'. Using the first version may make you end up in the pit...

But how did Dr Jones know about the code word in the first place? Answer: a book found beforehand. Something else you might use-a clue which isn't the complete solution.

Something else from the Last Crusade is that it is impossible to take the treasure-the Holy Grail in this case-away from the dungeon. This may annoy the players, after all they do all the work and get no treasure, but it's only a game after all.

It is important not to copy the plot of an Indiana Jones film completely, but to come up with your own spin on it, After all, that way is far more entertaining.

Paul Wimsett is an ebay seller, has a Auctiva shop and has also self published work on Createspace and http://Lulu.com

Role Playing Games - Character Guide 1

Introduction: In role playing games, they win through skill and skill alone. No, they don't cause massive damage in a single blow. They can't take hit after hit without faltering. They can't hide in the shadow of a nearby sentry. They are simply, routinely successful. They are more likely than most to hit a foe (as long as it isn't a defender), or dodge a blow (if it doesn't come from an attacker), or spot an ambush (that isn't being initiated by a trickster). These are the achievers of the RPG world, the characters who win simply because they are better at succeeding an action than others.

In QoTR, the achiever is represented by the Aptitude preference. These characters routinely get bonuses on checks, improving their chance of succeeding whatever action they take.

Player Tactics: When you elect to play an achiever, understand both the strengths and weaknesses of the character type. An achiever has a high chance of succeeding any action, but it is not as good at any individual action as a specialist in that style. An achiever can't deal as much damage as an attacker, avoid attacks as effectively as a defender, or sneak as well as a trickster. An achiever minimizes the advantages of enemy specialties and maximizes the impact of their weaknesses. Conversely, the achiever maximizes any other specialties it may have (whatever you are good at, being able to succeed more often only improves the value) and minimizes the impact of those areas it leaves open.

An achiever is not strictly a front-lines fighter. This isn't to say they are weak, but they should not be put into a position that emphasizes immediate and direct confrontation with the foe (unless, of course, they are also skilled attackers!) An achiever works best when it is in a position to gauge its opponent's strengths and weaknesses, so it can capitalize on them. If the opponent is weak against stealth, the achiever might take to the shadows to claim an advantage. If the foe's defenses are poor, the achiever should attack as hard as it can.

On the flip side, the achiever is not necessarily a jack-of-all-trades. In role playing games in general, and definitely in QoTR, most characters are specialized in more than one broad area. If you've got it, flaunt it, as the saying goes. And if you are an achiever, you've got more of it than most. Adding specialization as an achiever compounds the threat of whatever your other specialties are. An attacker or blaster may be scary for their ability to deal phenomenal damage, but when they also have a good chance of hitting so they can deal that damage, they become tremendously dangerous.

Although all combinations have merit, achievers often work best when combined with specializations that rely on succeeding actions. Attackers, defenders, and tricksters who double as achievers maximize the value of both specialties.

GM Tactics: Achievers generally make good choices of opponents in an RPG. They are particularly effective as "elite" foes--not quite "boss" enemies but still ranking above "fodder" opponents. Used wisely, an achiever can put players through a lot of stress while not presenting a tremendous threat of imminent destruction.

An achiever hits often, and is generally difficult to hit. Other specialties aside, they tend to have less impact on any action than most. You probably want to keep numbers roughly even in battles against achievers, since hit after hit will quickly wear a party down, and achievers might have some trouble when faced with large groups--high success chance or not, the dice will roll high eventually! This is a primary reason for using achievers as elite foes, since such opponents tend to fight the characters with similar numbers.

From a game master's standpoint, adding a heavy offensive specialty to an achiever is a dangerous proposition. As always, challenging the players is good, but if the party is wiped out, well, there goes the story! However, adding a defensive specialty to an achiever can create a particularly annoying opponent, and one who (due to its improved ability to hit) poses a credible threat. Other miscellaneous specialties, such as trickster or speedster, also make good combinations for an achiever.

Achievers are the masters of succeeding actions--frequently, reliably, and without significant cost. They may not pack the raw power of other character types, but their skill and versatility allows them to win through either exploitation or attrition. Whatever your other specialty may be, skill as an achiever improves it--a fact that all players should use, but GMs in particular should take to heart as both a promise and a warning.

Copyright © 2006 Dustin Schwerman.

Dustin Schwerman has been playing RPGs for over a decade, using an analytical approach to critically evaluate the game systems (and so to create the most powerful characters he could get away with). He used the extensive experience gained doing so to create his own game, Quests of the Realm. QoTR focuses on unlimited character customization, relying on its author's understanding to detect and counter game-breaking power plays. Though balanced, QoTR still allows players to create highly effective characters and run them through heroic story lines. To contact Dustin, read more of his writings, or learn more about Quests of the Realm, visit his web site, Quellian-dyrae [http://www.quelliandyrae.com].

Role Playing Games--Character Guide 5

Introduction: Among the most feared of character types in a role playing game is the blaster. Whether a fire-throwing mage, machine-gun-toting soldier, or bomb-launching robot, these characters are respected not only for their ability to do phenomenal damage, but to attack multiple opponents at once. Their powers rarely come without cost, however, and the failure of their attacks is a larger setback for them than the failure of an attacker's stable strikes.

Blasters are the tide-turners of battles, able to attack multiple foes at once for high damage. However, they are not generally as good at attackers at causing solid damage turn after turn. In some games, they are limited in the number of times they can use their powers. In some (such as QoTR), they require extra time or effort to prepare their powerful attacks.

In Quests of the Realm, the blaster is represented by the direct preference.

Player Tactics: When playing a blaster, you should take care to understand your limits. Oftentimes, a large-area attack used in a thick melee will damage your allies as well as your enemies, limiting your effectiveness. If you have a limit to the number of times you can use your high-powered attacks, make sure they count, and be careful if you expect to meet several encounters before getting a chance to recover. If you require extra time or effort to utilize your skills, do what you can to ready your attacks during lulls, before battles, or in other safe periods as allowed by the game.

You don't want to go overboard with a blaster. One way or another, it will likely lead to burn out. Just because you can attack multiple foes doesn't mean you will succeed to hit them all, and there are often abilities available that can counteract an attack for all involved. In QoTR, for example, defenders have an ability called "intervene", which allows them to negate an action in its entirety. A successful intervention, thus, can counter a blaster's powerful attacks for all involved, resulting in wasted energy.

Bear in mind both your damage potential and your ability to attack multiple opponents. Together, these advantages make you the best choice for dealing with large groups of fodder foes. Don't waste extra effort dealing with individual opponents. With a blaster, it is all about getting the most out of every action.

Although all combinations can be effective, a blaster/attacker creates the potential for incredible damage, and also ensures that you have something to fall back on when you can't use your high-powered attacks. A blaster/speedster can get off its attacks faster, which leads to swifter victory but also a higher chance of burnout. Adding a defensive ability to a blaster makes for a fearsome opponent, while a blaster/trickster can wipe out entire enemy forces without even being seen.

GM Tactics: Putting blasters up against the party is always a risk. Since they are such capable damage dealers, and can attack the entire party at once, they are incredibly dangerous opponents. A blaster of roughly equal level to the party, backed up by other opponents, can make for a good challenge. A higher-level boss blaster is a deadly threat, but might not last long enough to be useful, since most parties will concentrate immediate and overwhelming attack to defeat such a foe before it can demolish them. Groups of elite or fodder blasters create a complicated scenario, since everyone has to defend against every attack from the enemy group. Generally speaking, if you want the party to have a good chance of winning, you should keep the number of blasters in any enemy group low.

As mentioned, the best way to use enemy blasters is to join them with other character types. A particularly effective tactic is to get a blaster with strong defenses. There is a good chance that the party will concentrate (and waste) significant effort on that opponent, allowing other foes the opening. If they don't, well, then they risk the power of the blaster's attacks.

In role playing games, blasters are feared for their ability to deal significant damage to multiple foes at once. Players can use blasters to eradicate large groups of fodder foes quickly and deal significant harm to boss opponents. However, overuse of a blaster's capabilities is likely to result in burnout, especially over a prolonged fight or series of fights. Enemy blasters can be devastating to the party, and are best kept to a minimum. In all cases, the ideal way to use blasters is not to try to pour everything they have into maximum-power assaults, but to use their puissant powers with deliberate decisiveness.

Copyright © 2006 Dustin Schwerman.

Dustin Schwerman has been playing RPGs for over a decade, using an analytical approach to critically evaluate the game systems (and so to create the most powerful characters he could get away with). He used the extensive experience gained doing so to create his own game, Quests of the Realm. QoTR focuses on unlimited character customization, relying on its author's understanding to detect and counter game-breaking power plays. Though balanced, QoTR still allows players to create highly effective characters and run them through heroic story lines. To contact Dustin, read more of his writings, or learn more about Quests of the Realm, visit his web site, Quellian-dyrae [http://www.quelliandyrae.com].

Monday, February 14, 2011

Role Playing Games--Character Guide 2

Introduction: Its stats are low, its abilities limited. Why should your character, a mighty warrior skilled in both offensive and defensive arts, fear this foe? You strike with confidence, only for a quick augmentation to increase its defense for the action, blocking your attack. It returns the blow, scoring a solid hit and improving its damage--and adding in one of its most potent special abilities to further augment the effect. Wary now, you ply your own powers to defeat its next two moves, but you can only use these abilities so often. Your opponent, however, confidently continues to activate two or three of its abilities on every attack.

In a role playing game, this sort of character type can be referred to as the "user", a character who can quickly but temporarily improve otherwise low stats and/or activate its powerful abilities very frequently. The user is not a jack of all trades, but a versatility specialist. They may not have all the powers of other specialists, but those they do have they can use nearly as well, and much more often.

In Quests of the Realm, the advantages of the user are reflected in the ARN preference.

Player Tactics: In QoTR, a user--that is, a character with the ARN preference--has two main advantages. They can increase their stats on a by-action basis, and they can use their special preference aspects more often. Other RPGs might have characters that function as users with one or both advantages to varying degrees. Being a user is much less straightforward than being an attacker or defender. The advantages of the user--especially in the area of being able to use special abilities more often--can vary strongly based on the game.

Thus, the first step to effectively playing a user is to understand which advantages your character has, and to what degree. If you have both, you might also want to consider which you plan to use most often, since using one might impact the other. In QoTR, for example, simply activating the action improvement is itself a special ability, and so carries a correspondent cost in and of itself.

If you expect to most frequently use stat improvements, understand that while you can probably face a character so specialized on its own terms, you are unlikely to overpower its advantage. Much like with the achiever described in article one, you are skilled in all arts, and you have a strong advantage over the standard specialist if you specialize as both a user and the other specialty. Unlike with achievers, users are not so much the masters of succeeding actions as being able to improve the value of their actions. Thus, the best way to use stat improvements, much like with an achiever, is to minimize the foe's advantages (as by improving defensive stats against a powerful attacker) and maximize its disadvantages (improving stealth skills against unsubtle foes).

If you prefer the significant ability access, use it but don't get overconfident. A user might be able to utilize its abilities more often, but that does not mean they can do so forever. A user is also more likely to tap its special abilities, which can lead to burnout if they aren't careful. You might also want to consider not overusing your abilities. Use them only as needed, and win through attrition. This is particularly effective if you also have some sort of defensive specialty.

All combinations are valid, and the user specialty combines as well as any, but creating a user/tanker (or better, a user/defender/tanker) creates a character with a very good chance of winning through attrition. Combining user with achiever and/or enhancer creates an incredibly versatile character.

GM Tactics: Users can make very effective opponents thanks to their versatility. Generally, they aren't necessarily the best fodder foes, since they don't tend to get the chance to showcase all of their talents. Also, multiple users in the same battle can make for something of a headache to run. Users, thus, are best utilized as "boss" enemies, and can be particularly effective as recurring villains. Even better, a single opponent of similar power to the characters can make for a very effective user. Such a villain can stress the characters greatly by engaging them when they separate, attacking one at a time and always using tactics that work best against them. Such an opponent should probably make use of a defensive specialty as well, and it certainly wouldn't hurt for it to also be a troubleshooter--particularly, one who can teleport away when the going gets tough.

Users in numbers can be a bit more deadly than you might want, mainly due to the attrition aspect. Such battles promise to be long, grueling, and probably overly complicated, with a reasonable chance that the characters will be slogging away through most of the fight and then be virtually unable to utilize their powers and forced to retreat or fall after an hour or so of difficult fighting. Not the most entertaining scene.

In a role playing game, users are the masters of versatility. Whether they use their powers frequently or boost whatever stat is necessary to the situation, they often seem to always have another trick or tactic to ply. Players can take advantage of this versatility to improve whatever other specialties they possess, or utilize it in its own right to claim an advantage over foes. Villains, too, can find this build advantageous--especially for thoroughly annoying the players!

Copyright © 2006 Dustin Schwerman.

Dustin Schwerman has been playing RPGs for over a decade, using an analytical approach to critically evaluate the game systems (and so to create the most powerful characters he could get away with). He used the extensive experience gained doing so to create his own game, Quests of the Realm. QoTR focuses on unlimited character customization, relying on its author's understanding to detect and counter game-breaking power plays. Though balanced, QoTR still allows players to create highly effective characters and run them through heroic story lines. To contact Dustin, read more of his writings, or learn more about Quests of the Realm, visit his web site, Quellian-dyrae [http://www.quelliandyrae.com].

Yakuza 4 Trailer Gives a Beatdown

Yakuza 4

Yakuza 4 is coming to North America on March 15, and a gentleman with an oddly pleasant voice would like to introduce gamers to the fighting styles of its main characters. Although Yakuza 4 continues the story of semi-reformed gangster Kazuma Kiryu, it will have three additional playable main characters. Players will experience all of their individual stories, which will weave together into the game's climax.

Here is the trailer, showing off the combat moves of the four characters:

View the original article here

Role Playing Games--Character Guide 6

Introduction: The majority of role playing games available rely on dice to create a system of random chance. As such, one can never truly predict how things will go. Even an attacker, blaster, or speedster can't guarantee victory before the foe gets a chance to make a crucial attack. Even an achiever, trickster, or defender can't assume that a foe will never succeed to score a hit. Eventually, sometimes even often, characters will take hits. If anything in an RPG is guaranteed, it is this simple fact.

How to deal with it? Play a tanker. Tankers are the characters who take the hits and keep on going. They do not fall easily, do not succumb to single blows. All tankers are alike in their ability to take the hits, but in some games, they also heal rapidly over time, making them virtually impossible to wear down through attrition and compounding their incredible stamina with constant recuperation.

In Quests of the Realm, tankers are represented by the endure preference.

Player Tactics: The tanker, like the defender, is primarily a protective specialty. In QoTR, tankers supplement their stamina with some functional options. They can sacrifice their resilience to improve their actions, and can ignore some of the penalties that come from being badly injured (and, indeed, gain bonuses instead!) This isn't always the case, however, and being able to take a lot doesn't matter much if you can't likewise dish it out.

The tanker, thus, is a specialty that helps to maximize other advantages more than granting benefits of its own. Since a tanker doesn't fall easily, it has more chances to make use of its abilities. When other characters are falling back to get healing, the tanker is still going strong, possibly even stronger than it was in the beginning of the fight.

A tanker should never go for minimal impact. Do whatever you can to pester your enemies so they turn their attention onto you. As with a defender, your value to the party, other specialties aside, is strongly limited if foes elect not to attack you. On the other hand, don't let the value of your strength defeat itself. Tankers are hard to take down--but not impossible. You want to draw attacks off of your allies, but much as with a user, if you rely too heavily on your ability to resist hard, it will be used up when you need it later.

Although any combination can prove effective, tankers do lend themselves to certain other specialties. A user/tanker, used wisely, is a master of winning through attrition. A blaster/tanker might risk a high chance of burnout, but played with some caution, can devastate the enemy force without fearing being taken down quickly due to the perceived threat of blasters. An enhancer/tanker, able to take the hits and heal, is virtually immortal on the field, while a defender/tanker is not only hard to hit, but also requires more hits to drop (and may be able to lower the damage of those hits it takes, to boot).

GM Tactics: Tankers share many of the same advantages of defenders for villain design. They make great boss opponents, especially if a lot of the players have high-damage characters that would otherwise eradicate a boss in one or two hits. If tankers can gain in effectiveness as they are injured (as in QoTR), the challenge of such a battle increases as the characters get closer to winning, not unlike in some video game RPGs.

Attacker/tanker fodder opponents are a pretty safe bet. Since they are lower level than the party, their ability to take more hits and deal more harm make them credible threats. And, since their tactics are straightforward, the GM can use them without having to worry about complicated strategy. As with defenders, though, tanker fodder can mean a much longer battle. On the flip side, they're a great choice if the party contains a slightly-too-effective blaster.

Tanker elites can prove effective, especially if combined with more powerful allies. A trickster/achiever boss, for example, with a couple of tanker elites can make for an interesting challenge. All in all, the tanker specialty is among the best choice for villains--it makes them effective without making them unnecessarily devastating, and nicely complements any other specialty they have.

Tankers can take the hits and keep on fighting. They lack powerful offensive abilities of their own, but if they have a halfway decent fighting specialty to back them up, they can win their fights through attrition. Players should value the added survivability of tankers, since a player's character is naturally subject to more attacks--and more successful attacks--over the course of a long-running game than any individual villain. However, enemies too can benefit from a tanker's capabilities, allowing them to actually stay in the fight long enough to cause an effect, even against a group of high-damage characters.

Copyright © 2006 Dustin Schwerman.

Dustin Schwerman has been playing RPGs for over a decade, using an analytical approach to critically evaluate the game systems (and so to create the most powerful characters he could get away with). He used the extensive experience gained doing so to create his own game, Quests of the Realm. QoTR focuses on unlimited character customization, relying on its author's understanding to detect and counter game-breaking power plays. Though balanced, QoTR still allows players to create highly effective characters and run them through heroic story lines. To contact Dustin, read more of his writings, or learn more about Quests of the Realm, visit his web site, Quellian-dyrae [http://www.quelliandyrae.com].

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Psychology of Multi Media Online Role Playing Games

A character in a MMORPG is a reflection of how players see or intend to see themselves.

Most Massively Multi-Player Online Role Playing Games or MMORPG provide the players with an option on what character to play. This involves choosing their abilities and their looks. The player may want to become a healer that helps other players stay alive while they fight. Other become long range fighter through their bow and arrow or guns. Others find hand to hand combat more exciting.

This is already tells you a part of how they want to see themselves especially if the game they are playing allows them form teams and communities. Leaders will naturally gravitate towards setting the goals of the team, setting a common time so that teams can play together, and even dictate which teams they will fight.

It is also not a strange thing to encounter female players posing as male figures and kids becoming the most powerful character. A game may also be a place where they live out their frustrations. It is empowering for a lot of women to play a male character and "experience" the privileges that come with it. Express their aggression online instead of doing it in the real world.

It is also an license to do what they want without suffering the consequences. In the game, they can kill as many opponents as they want, curse, laugh, love and not have to live with the results of what they did. They can be careless and irresponsible and the only thing that will suffer is their character. There is a way around it, just restart the character. The only thing that is lost is the time they invested in their old character but at least they get a new start. That is something you can't do in real life.

MMORPG, in other words is a chance for players to live life a second time.

Abel Alexander has been internet marketing for nearly 8 years. Come visit his latest website over at Hearing Aids Prices which helps people find the best Used Hearing Aids and useful tips and information.

Choosing Character Class in Role Playing Games

When players want to enter the rich, exciting world of Dungeons and Dragons, they will do so through the use of a specially constructed character, which fits into that world. The universe of Dungeons and Dragons is a different one than the Earth on which we reside and, therefore, common people who populate the world today would not fit appropriately into this rich fantasy environment. Therefore, any player who wants to enter the world of Dungeons and Dragons will have to invent a character that they can participate in that world as. Using the Player's Handbook, any participant in the game can quickly and easily make a player who they like and feel comfortable using to move about the world created in the game.

The first thing that a player needs to do when constructing a character is to figure out what type of character they want to play. This comes down to the dissection and examination of the different character classes located in Dungeons and Dragons. Many different options are available to new players, especially once one takes into consideration the edition of Dungeons and Dragons, which is being played. Each edition revises the one before it, adding certain character classes and dropping others as the designers of the game see fit.

The most current Fourth Edition of Dungeons and Dragons presents eight different character classes that players can choose to make their character, although each of these eight classes fits into one of four different roles, whom each draw their power from one of three different sources. Players can either play as a Cleric, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Warlock, Warlord, or as a Wizard. Many of these classes seem to be similar at first glance, but when one takes into consideration the role that these classes play, the game suddenly opens up into a much more expansive tone.

Each of these eight character classes will either work as a Controller, Leader, Defender, or a Striker. Controllers are players who will focus on multiple targets at one, either in an attacking or supporting format. Currently, only Wizards fill this role, making them one of the more valuable members of a team. Leaders will more traditionally be used to support allies, making them stronger or healing them, although they will attack under the right circumstances.

Clerics and Warlords both serve as Leaders. Defenders work to not only block enemy attacks, but work to make those enemies focus on the Defenders themselves. Fighters and Paladins fill this role within the game. Finally, Strikers are the sort who have advanced mobility, moving quickly around the fighting space, delivering blows and trying to avoid being attacked themselves. Rangers, Rogues, and Warlocks all work as Strikers.

Finally, though, each of these characters will draw their power from a different source. If a character has a divine source of power, they will draw their power from the gods. If a player has an arcane source, though, the power will instead be drawn from the magical energy of the cosmos. Players with martial sources instead find their power from their own training and willpower. Each of these combinations works to make all of these characters incredibly unique within the confines of the game.

Victor Epand is an expert consultant for board games, chess boards, and dungeons and dragons miniatures. You will find all these things and more if you visit used board games, chess boards

Get Into Airsoft Games - Your Easy Access to Action-Packed Role Playing Games

Airsoft games are becoming more and more popular at present. Most of the time, people set aside regular sports, such as football or basketball, to engage in a game with more action and more participation. As a matter of fact, these games are being considered as a sport where people train their hardest for. Nowadays, you will be able to see people training their hardest with their friends. If they are good, they enter competitions, which are becoming more and more rampant nowadays.

Almost anyone, young or old, who is capable can immerse themselves in this battlefield simulation. All they have to do is have a special firearm called airsoft or soft air guns. These are replicas of rifles and guns used in the war. These were actually originally from Japan and were made to fit the gun demanding population. Since guns were against the law, manufacturers decided to replicate them.

Then and there, airsoft was created. As you can see, the game has evolved over the years. Now, one can engage in battlefield replicas complete with trees, bunkers and other objects which can replicate a military facade. It is even complete with the costumes, with helmets and bulletproof vests. Here, people can experience what it is like working in a team and feel the thrill of working with real military tactics.

People are then separated into groups and are given a specific mission. Of course, the task depends on what type of game you are playing. It can range from capturing opponents and their flags to one man hunts and the like. All in all, airsoft games are definitely exciting games to try. If you do research, more and more countries around the world are being addicted to these types of games. If you are interested, you should call up some friends and who knows? You might release your inner airsoft player and have some great skills!

If you're interested in learning more about the weapons people use in airsoft games, check out Erika Ayala's new article on AK 47 Airsoft Gun

If you wish to know more about the weapons inside this very interesting game, visit her latest site on Soft Air Guns.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Role Playing Games--Character Guide 3

Introduction: Ah the attacker. How can one go wrong? Truly, this is the specialty that needs no introduction, but we'll give it one anyway. In a role playing game, the attackers are the solid, effective damage dealers. Whether through their high chance of successfully hitting, their ability to inflict severe injury, or their capability at causing debilitating status damage, attackers master the art of taking their opponents down. Solid and dependable, attackers don't need a variety of tricks and tactics. Give them their weapons, point them at their opponents, and watch the combat end.

For purposes of this article, attackers can include any and all of the following: a character who has a reliable chance of hitting in combat; a character who deals significant damage; or a character who can weaken opponents with status effects. An attacker, however, should not be confused with an achiever (who has a high chance of succeeding any action, not just attacks) or a blaster (who deals massive damage to multiple opponents). Generally speaking, an attacker can attack only a few foes, typically one, on any given turn. Attackers also are able to attack without cost; they don't usually have major limitations on how often they can utilize most of their abilities.

In Quests of the Realm, attackers are represented, logically enough, by the attack preference.

Player Tactics: Obviously, if you are playing an attacker, your tactic is to attack. It helps, however, to determine just what style of attacking you prefer. In QoTR, you can decide this on the fly in battle if you want, varying your tactics. Depending on the game you play, the type of character and abilities you choose may limit your options.

If you plan to go for damage power over accuracy, you might not get many hits in, but those you do achieve will be decisive. This can be a weakness against defenders, who take your already low chance of hitting and further reduce it. If you favor hitting often, don't expect to turn the tide with a single move; you need some time to wear your foe down. This, then, is of less use against tankers, who can take more of your hits. If you favor status effects over direct "hit point" style damage, your attacks are better at directly weakening a foe in combat, but not strictly better at wearing them down. The effectiveness generally varies depending on how your game handles status effects, but generally speaking, it is easier to deal damage than to blind, stun, or confuse a foe.

All combinations have merit, and an attacker certainly compliments any other specialty in a combat-oriented game. Attacker/defenders or attacker/tankers have both offense and defense covered. If you favor direct damage, being an attacker/blaster might suit you well. On the flip side, if you like a high chance of hitting, you might prefer attacker/achiever. Generally speaking, an attacker/user might be better able to inflict status effects than others, while an attacker/enhancer is good at weakening foes while augmenting allies, which can make for an interesting combination.

GM Tactics: Attackers are good at dealing damage, which makes them deadly. If you put your players up against a boss-level attacker, you are putting their characters at significant risk of death. Although some groups prefer a "take us to the edge" style of play, the focus of these articles for a GM is to help challenge the players while maintaining a respectable chance that their characters will survive the encounter.

That in mind, attackers are best used as fodder foes--that is to say, opponents who are individually weaker than the main characters, and tend to fight in numbers. The numerical advantage indicates that despite their lesser power, these opponents will probably score a hit eventually. As attackers, they can deal respectable harm even to higher-level foes, making them into credible threats. A couple elite-level attackers focused on status effects helping out a boss can strongly intensify the challenge of a climactic battle, though you may want to tone the boss down some. If you wish to use a boss attacker, you might go for a character who hits often at the expense of pure damage power. This maintains the attacker's threat and helps get around pesky defenders, but also gives characters a chance to retreat, heal, or overwhelm the foe through numbers.

Attackers are front-lines fighters, plain and simple. They don't need tricks and tactics, but that doesn't mean they can't use them, and it certainly doesn't mean that all attackers are alike. By choosing your preferred attack style and selecting specialties that compliment it, you can create a highly customized warrior. This variety can also help wise QLs use offensively-oriented foes to threaten the players without putting them at excessive risk of character death.

Copyright © 2006 Dustin Schwerman.

Dustin Schwerman has been playing RPGs for over a decade, using an analytical approach to critically evaluate the game systems (and so to create the most powerful characters he could get away with). He used the extensive experience gained doing so to create his own game, Quests of the Realm. QoTR focuses on unlimited character customization, relying on its author's understanding to detect and counter game-breaking power plays. Though balanced, QoTR still allows players to create highly effective characters and run them through heroic story lines. To contact Dustin, read more of his writings, or learn more about Quests of the Realm, visit his web site, Quellian-dyrae [http://www.quelliandyrae.com].

The Godfather Death, and the Fairy Godmother - Fairy Tales, and Role Playing Games with Godparents

In the world of fairy tales it is not uncommon for the protagonist to have an interesting godfather or godmother. The best known of these is the fairy godmother variant, a creature of great power the godmother would provide her godchild with great gifts as they needed it in life. Lesser known but for the purposes of RPG's perhaps more important are the godparents from "The God Father" and " The Godfather Death," for in these two stories the godparents are the devil and death himself (respectively). In both these stories the father resolves to ask the first person he meets on the street to be the child's godfather. "The Godfather Death" is in many ways the more interesting of these two stories, first because it develops the relationship between Death and his godson more then most any other fairy tale, and second because although the father has resolved to ask the first one he sees to be godfather he passes over god and the devil for he believes that both of these discriminate against the poor. Upon meeting death however he is happy for death treats all people equally, taking them as it is their turn to die.

Within role playing games we can take from this the idea that a person could indeed on rare occasions choose a godparent for their child, no matter what the parents normal disadvantages. It would be interesting to play a character with a godparent who provided them with some great gift, but who in return made demands that would be difficult to keep. In the case of the Godfather Death, the person knew how to stop Death from taking someone, but was told never to do this if Death stood at the persons head. However realizing that Death loved him the godson chose to ignore this, for he loved those who where dying. In role playing games this may not be as much of a challenge for the players for although their characters might be attached to someone the player may not be. Unless the player is able to more honestly play their character. And then what is it death might demand in return for the sparing of someone's life.

To take this idea a step further the godfather in an RPG could be an evil god, who waits until long after the character is good to provide him with his gift. Imagine the conflict of being caught between a godfather one has grown to love and the ideology and beliefs that the character holds dear. Again such conflicts require a good role player; however there is real value in such stories, for it is such conflicts that make fantasy so interesting. For within fantasy the conflict is itself invented and so is able to question much more deeply the reality in which we live just as fairy tales are.

Ty Hulse is helping to develop dragonsmeet.net as center for role playing games, where you can learn about the impact of fairy tales on RPG's, and about creating fantasy worlds for your role playing games.

Role Playing Games - Past, Present, and Future

Few genres of games have had such a dedicated and enthusiastic audience, as that of Role Playing Games, and all this while never having been the most popular or top-selling genre. Role Playing Games first arose to worldwide fame with the creation of various table games and board based games, especially Gary Gigax's Dungeons & Dragons, a franchise which still remains largely synonymous with RPG's as a whole, and particularly with table top RPG's. Much of the initial inspiration for what have become RPG staples was found though the famous Lord of the Rings trilogy of books, along with other fantasy books, as well as myths and legends from various cultures. 

RPG's remain quite possibly the most misunderstood gaming genre, due to the presence of many monsters and demons, and because many RPG's offer players the choice of aligning themselves with the forces of either good or evil, some religious leaders have considered RPG's to be a bad influence, and some even consider them to be satanic or sympathetic towards Satanism. Some others reject RPG's for other reasons, such as the common perception that many RPG gamers are geeky or just unpopular, thus 'uncool' in the eyes of some people, yet the massive popularity of modern PC Massively Multiplayer Online RPG's( or MMORPG's for short) such as World Of Warcraft have clearly proven this stereotype to be untrue.


Today Role Playing Games come in many different forms, from the tabletop games like Dungeons & Dragons, to the popular console RPG series such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, to the many well-loved computer RPG's such as Blizzard's top-selling Diablo II and World Of Warcraft franchises. RPG's even have helped to spawn a large number of hybrid genres, with some of the most popular being the Action/RPG which combines elements of action games with the exploration and settings of an RPG or Adventure game, and the Strategy/RPG genre which combines the turn-based Strategy game with the leveling up and story development which is often found in a Role Playing Game.

Newer related Sub-genre's include the Massively Multiplayer Online RPG, which focuses exclusively on online play with a large number of people, within a persisting and constantly changing world. These MMORPG games such as the already mentioned World Of Warcraft, almost always require that you pay a monthly fee of roughly $5-30 dollars to play the game, although there have been some exceptions, most famously the Guild Wars series of games which has allowed gamers to play online with no monthly fee. These MMORPG's have also had the most success with mainstream gaming, with top-selling games such as World Of Warcraft setting all kinds of subscription and sales records which had never been enjoyed by RPG's as a whole until very recently.

Although MMORPG's continue to be highly successful with sales, Traditional RPG gaming has remained something of a niche, with many of the players being dedicated, but not quite as many gamers as some more popular genres have enjoyed.

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Dissidia Duodecim Gets a Release Date

Dissidia Duodecim: Final Fantasy

Square Enix's Final Fantasy crossover game finally has a North American release date. Dissidia Duodecim: Final Fantasy will be released March 22. It will cost $29.99, and will be rated T by the ESRB.

Square Enix has also released a little information about the actors who will be lending their voices to the North American version of the game, though it hasn't revealed anything too interesting on this front. The voice actors from the original Dissidia: Final Fantasy will reprise their roles in this game. Rachel Leigh Cook, who voiced Tifa in the past, will continue to voice the character in Dissidia Duodecim. Ali Hillis will also continue her role as the voice of Lightning. Unfortunately, there is no word yet on who will provide the voices for various characters who have never had spoken lines in a previous game.

View the original article here

Role Playing Games--Character Guide 4

Introduction: Being able to cause massive damage is well and good, but it's a useless ability in either of the following cases: you can't hit your foe, or you've already been dropped. In the world of role playing games, these simple facts explain the existence of defenders, characters who don't rely on massive damage power to win the day, but get through their battles by outlasting their opponents. Defenders prefer to wear their foes down over time, and since they avoid most attacks against them, they are in a perfect position to do just that.

There are two primary possibilities for defenders, either or both of which might be represented in a given game's defense-oriented characters. The first involves simply avoiding attacks, causing them to fail utterly. The second involves lessening the impact of those attacks that succeed. Obviously, the best defenders are those who are able to do both.

In Quests of the Realm, defenders are represented, as one would hope, by the defend preference.

Player Tactics: The style of game can have a strong effect on the value of playing a defender. You may wish to set your sights elsewhere in some cases, because unless they have some decent secondary advantages or methods of using their abilities, defenders can be boring to play. Not only do you lack impressive offenses, but smart foes will identify defenders and avoid attacking them. Now, on one hand, this only makes you better at doing what you do best: avoiding getting hit. On the other hand, your big value to the party is to draw off enemy attacks, and if your foes don't bother attacking you, you're useless. Worse still, just because you can often avoid attacks doesn't mean you always will. If your attacks are so weak that you find it as hard to appreciably hurt your foes and they find you, you don't have any advantage at all in single combat.

In QoTR, defenders have abilities allowing them to defend their allies, thus foiling foes regardless of who they attack. QoTR defenders also have abilities that allow them to turn a foe's botched attacks to their own advantage, typically by giving them an opening to improve their next attack. If you are playing another RPG, you might want to see if you can find a character who has such abilities before you dedicate yourself to playing a defender.

On the other hand, if characters in your game tend to have multiple specialties, adding defense might be viable regardless of specialty tactics. The fact of the matter is, no matter what your other skills are, adding defense helps you stay alive, so it is always welcome. The only time you want to be careful is when considering an all-out defensive character.

On the subject of combinations, any choice can work fine, but some that stand out are attacker/defender (or blaster/defender), tanker/defender, and achiever/defender. The attacker/defender adds good damage to strong defenses, which makes for a foe both hard to kill and quite capable of killing your opponents. A tanker/defender adds phenomenal endurance to high ability to avoid hits, exponentially improving both advantages. The achiever/defender is good at avoiding attacks and good at succeeding actions (such as defenses), for a layered benefit. Such characters also have at least functional attacks to fall back on.

GM Tactics: Defenders make great boss opponents. An RPG boss, generally speaking, is outnumbered by the characters, but more individually powerful than each one. Having a defense specialization allows it to better handle the threat of multiple foes, while its naturally higher stats can still serve as offensively effective. Such an opponent can be quite stressful to players, since they get many turns but still don't seem to be causing any effect. Even if the villain isn't making much real headway itself, the sheer number of misses the characters get can make it seem much more formidable than it actually is.

Elite opponents can also benefit from a defensive specialization. A particularly effective tactic is to have a couple skilled defenders backing up more offensively-minded opponents. While the focus of these articles is always on challenging the players without putting their characters at overwhelming risk, if you are in the market for a truly dangerous battle, an attacker or blaster boss with a couple elite defender minions (provided those defenders can somehow protect the boss) makes a devastating team.

You may wish to shy away from defender fodder foes. Giving fodder opponents high defenses basically means a long, grueling, and potentially embarrassing battle. Fodder opponents are never much expected to seriously threaten the characters, but it's nice for them to have at least a degree of impact. As defenders, they just get in the way and stay there for longer.

Defenders are skilled at avoiding attacks. They have good survivability, but without other specialties, can be limited in their actual impact on combat. Consider the advantages the defenders of your game have access to. All-out defenders might have really strong survivability, but can be boring to play if all they can do is dodge really well. For players, the best defenders are those that can protect their allies. For GMs, defenders are effective ways at making a battle seem much harder than it actually is--which can be good or bad, depending on what you want the encounter to accomplish.

Copyright © 2006 Dustin Schwerman.

Dustin Schwerman has been playing RPGs for over a decade, using an analytical approach to critically evaluate the game systems (and so to create the most powerful characters he could get away with). He used the extensive experience gained doing so to create his own game, Quests of the Realm. QoTR focuses on unlimited character customization, relying on its author's understanding to detect and counter game-breaking power plays. Though balanced, QoTR still allows players to create highly effective characters and run them through heroic story lines. To contact Dustin, read more of his writings, or learn more about Quests of the Realm, visit his web site, Quellian-dyrae [http://www.quelliandyrae.com].

Leading Companies Manufacturing Mobile Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games

Today, the market is full of role playing games. Role playing is the act of taking on the role of a fictional character, and acting as that person in a given situation. An MMORPG is also known as massive multiplayer online role playing game. MMORPG use graphical interfaces or at the very least an AI interactive world to allow its members to communicate with one another while playing. Mobile multiplayer online role playing games is a variation of this concept that has been creatively designed by a unique company for the Chinese audience.

MMORPG have been developed with a unique range of mobile multiplayer online role playing games that have become hugely popular. These games have become hugely popular lately as more and more people are developing the knack to play such games. In China, 3G technology enabled phones can download this game and play it with other online subscribers of the game.

There are various interactive MMORPG that you can easily download onto your 3G enabled mobile phones and play incessantly for entertainment. The game "Miracle Journey to the West" still remains one of China's most popular mobile games since it was launched by in May 2006, with a current subscriber base of more than 20.4 million.

MMORPG for mobile phones are unique in their themes and settings. The best part about such games is that you do not have to strain your imagination to figure out what's going on in such games. The world is right there, represented graphically. So get going today and subscribe for these games.

For more information about Amico Games refer to: http://www.amicogamesus.com

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Where Can You Find the Best Online Role Playing Games Free?

Many people who love to play computer games prefer to play role playing games. Role playing games (RPG) are games where a person can play as characters. You are able to have the capabilities of the character while playing the game. These have various plots and have evolved into areas of practice for real world situations. Although RPGs are popular, some beginners to this world may not know which are the most popular and where to find them. In this article i will help you with both. I will name a couple well know games and let you know where you can find them for free.

The first RPG I would like to mention is called Wandering Willows. On Wandering Willows your objective is to collect and train pets. You will begin an amazing journey to find new friends, solve perplexing problems, and explore a vast landscape. Work together with your pet to pick fruit, dig for items such as dye, grow vegetables and flowers and collect recipes and clothing patterns to add to your inventory, then make garments, cook/bake items or make flower bouquets for your acquaintances and friends. It will prove to be both relaxing and incredibly entertaining.

The next one on my list is Jessica's Cupcake Cafe online. Here you will design your own cupcakes and serve cupcakes in seven locations. This is a good kid friendly game you can play with the entire family. The graphics are colorful and fun, the game is fast-paced but not difficult. This is a good way to past time and keeps your mind occupied if you want something fun to do.

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Online Role Playing Games - Are They Addictive?

If you have ever played one, then like me I'm sure you are saying a resounding Yes! Eleven years ago, when I started at my last job, I found my fellow employees talking about the "Quest" they hoped to complete that evening, and about the NPCs they would encounter. Not having a clue about the conversation, I asked what they were talking about, and within two weeks I was one of the millions of everyday people trying to make it to the next level, so that I could upgrade my Avatar. I soon joined the local Guild and with the help of my Guild Mates I was leveling my character every day at first, and then as the game started to get a little harder, the time between levels also increased. But it didn't matter, the exhilaration of the battle and the thrill of completing the Quest were two of the things I personally found invigorating and addictive.

Since then I've played several other MMORPGs, Massive Multi-Player Online Role Playing Games, and they all have their own pros and cons. Some are arranged in such a manner that it doesn't matter if you play solo or in groups. Playing solo usually means that sooner or later you will have to "Grind" out the points needed to level, while playing in groups not only makes it possible to go on the harder Quests but leveling is much faster. Others are geared more towards groups, the game being almost impossible to play solo. I prefer the first type as I like to play solo, although I also joined groups when necessary.

Just like other activities that addictive at first, but then wear off, I found that the game lost it's original appeal, and I haven't been playing as much as I used to. My Avatar is still there if I decide to go back.

This is a screen shot of my current Avatar in a game I've been actively playing for almost 6 years. It uses Real Money and is a real challenge.

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Propp's Fairy Tale Functions and the Fantasy Role Playing Game

Propp was one of the most brilliant folklorists of all time, very knowledgeable of fairy tales, their meanings, and most especially their story structures. As people during his time attempted to classify stories by key features, and elements, something which led to hundreds of story types, Propp felt it would make more sense to examine story structure based on functions.

In his studies Propp found 31 fairy tale functions, it was his claim that while not all these functions where in any fairy tale, fairy tales where all driven by these functions which all occurred in the numerical order he outlined for them from least to greatest.

While it can be argued that there are perhaps folktales especially those in other cultures that do not follow exactly the outline created by Propp, he certainly discovered something that is true the majority of the time, and when talking about humans that is normally the best one can get, for humans have few if any rules regarding their imagination which are true all the time. It is wise then to utilize Propp's functions set as a tool to understanding fairy tales, rather then simply working to dispute it, because if you try to you will find fairy tales that don't match it, but you will find many more which do.

What Propp means for fantasy stories and RPG's

So what do Propp's functions have to do with fantasy role playing games and fantasy worlds? Everything, for it is Propp's functions which have shown the outline for most all of the early fantasy stories, and certainly for the most famous of such stories. By defining this storyline Propp has not only created a tool for understanding fairy tales, he has created one for writing them, and fantasy stories structured like them, and considering the power and timeless nature of fairy tales this is indeed a valuable story tool. When creating a quest for your characters this tool is invaluable for helping to generate ideas, often times quests are merely a string of challenges rather then a story. Propp offers a more concrete structure for ideas. This way a game master creating an rpg quest could rather then simply stringing together challenges, string together events from meetings with hero's, receiving of magical objects, and villain's natures being revealed.

Of special interest to those creating role playing quests includes the interdiction violated (the players, or someone close to them does something they where told not to). Common in fairy tales, someone is told not to do something, and so they must inevitably do it. In the case of a hero this could be a good opportunity to use external characters to pressure them. Someone close to them bothers them until such time as they do the thing they where told not to. Or the pc's could be forced to choose between a known negative event and an unknown, as they are chased by a dragon, poisoned, or driven to do something they normally would not do to survive. For in fleeing the dragon they enter a fairies private realm angering it. To cure themselves of the poison they make a deal with a stranger. There are many other ways to direct the PC's towards the breaking of the interdiction, allowing you to set them up for the fantasy quest.

Once the interdiction is broken the PC's could find themselves in trouble, and so would need the help of the villain who at this point is disguised as a helper. One of the things that make fairy tales so interesting is the way in which villains often start out as those seeming to help the hero characters. Yet they do so only to cause some sort of harm to or to get something out of the hero. In your role playing game this duality of the villain character could add interest and of course a more story like feel.

On the flip side of the hidden villain is the actual helper character, someone who provides magical aid to the hero. Fairies play in this role well for they do not have their own unknown reasons for helping and so could simply choose to be helpful if the player's characters are friendly to them. What's important to understand in this is that these are not simply random events; it is ok if the pc's receive miraculous help from an outside source in this story structure because this structure is so well known to most peoples. Propp's structure after all is the structure on which most of our fantasy stories are originally based.

Propp's function started with an initial set up situation of who, what, when and where, after this the stories according to him would follow along in order some of the following 31 functions.

1. A member of a family leaves home (the hero is introduced);

2. An interdiction is addressed to the hero ('don't go there');

3. The interdiction is violated (villain enters the tale);

4. The villain makes an attempt at reconnaissance (either villain tries to find the children/jewels etc; or intended victim questions the villain);

5. The villain gains information about the victim;

6. The villain attempts to deceive the victim to take possession of victim or victim's belongings (trickery; villain disguised, tries to win confidence of victim);

7. Victim taken in by deception, unwittingly helping the enemy;

8. Villain causes harm/injury to family member (by abduction, theft of magical agent, spoiling crops, plunders in other forms, causes a disappearance, expels someone, casts spell on someone, substitutes child etc, comits murder, imprisons/detains someone, threatens forced marriage, provides nightly torments); Alternatively, a member of family lacks something or desires something (magical potion etc);

9. Misfortune or lack is made known, (hero is dispatched, hears call for help etc/ alternative is that victimized hero is sent away, freed from imprisonment);

10. Seeker agrees to, or decides upon counter-action;

11. Hero leaves home;

12. Hero is tested, interrogated, attacked etc, preparing the way for his/her receiving magical agent or helper (donor);

13. Hero reacts to actions of future donor (withstands/fails the test, frees captive, reconciles disputants, performs service, uses adversary's powers against him);

14. Hero acquires use of a magical agent (directly transferred, located, purchased, prepared, spontaneously appears, eaten/drunk, help offered by other characters);

15. Hero is transferred, delivered or led to whereabouts of an object of the search;

16. Hero and villain join in direct combat;

17. Hero is branded (wounded/marked, receives ring or scarf);

18. Villain is defeated (killed in combat, defeated in contest, killed while asleep, banished);

19. Initial misfortune or lack is resolved (object of search distributed, spell broken, slain person revived, captive freed);

20. Hero returns;

21. Hero is pursued (pursuer tries to kill, eat, undermine the hero);

22. Hero is rescued from pursuit (obstacles delay pursuer, hero hides or is hidden, hero transforms unrecognisably, hero saved from attempt on his/her life);

23. Hero unrecognized, arrives home or in another country;

24. False hero presents unfounded claims;

25. Difficult task proposed to the hero (trial by ordeal, riddles, test of strength/endurance, other tasks);

26. Task is resolved;

27. Hero is recognized (by mark, brand, or thing given to him/her);

28. False hero or villain is exposed;

29. Hero is given a new appearance (is made whole, handsome, new garments etc);

30. Villain is punished;

31. Hero marries and ascends the throne (is rewarded/promoted).

Ty Hulse is helping to develop dragonsmeet.net as center for role playing games, where you can learn about the impact of fairy tales on RPG's, and about creating fantasy worlds for your role playing games.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Role Play Games for Your PC

Role playing has taken the kids of today's society and introduced them to a virtual world where anything is possible, where if you are a ten year old kid that has a terminal disease you can still be a hero and be respected by many of your friends and has given then new horizons to look at in terms of social skills, communication and even financial gain.

A role play game will set you up with a character of your choice based of different species and skills that you need to choose for yourself and then later on develop them to their maximum capacities. After a generous amount of game play you will reach levels that only the best players can reach and your virtual self can reach superhero or godlike levels of power.

Games such as World of Warcraft, Lineage, Eve online and others has brought billions of dollars of profit to the development companies that created these games and host millions of players each day. Also some real life situations have been passed with the help of such games couples meeting and getting married by meeting in this game world and there has been a case of a young man being promoted as a manager for the gaming division of a large game development company because he had played for three years as a guild leader and thus had plenty of time to polish his leader skills.

I'm not saying that a role play game will make you rich or will make you a leader however you will definitely learn some new skills and you will have the pleasure of taking part of a great adventure and experience.

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Role Playing Games - Builder's Guide 10

The Challenge: Over the past nine articles, you've seen many challenges in creating a balanced, versatile, and entertaining role playing game. Balancing character design and die rolls, offering opportunities to strategic, descriptive, and casual players alike. All of these challenges relate, in one way or another, to game balance. Keeping an RPG balanced, making sure that no character has an overwhelming advantage, is so important and integral to all of these challenges that it a single article cannot encompass the entirety of its effects on the game.

But balance is not the final word. This is a role playing game, an interactive story. Challenges and combat are important factors. But challenges are there for characters to overcome, and battles there to win. The characters should face risk, but if they fight smart, help each other out, and have a modicum of good luck, players should generally expect that they could carry the day--sometimes, even against a superior opposition.

Thus the tenth and final challenge of designing a versatile and balanced role playing game. Thus the aspect of the game perhaps more important than any--even balance--in the minds of those who will be running their characters through the game world: the challenge of maintaining heroism.

When people play an RPG, they expect their characters to face serious, even epic dangers. They expect that the challenges they face will be difficult, that sometimes they will fail, that the dice won't always smile. They expect that the game master will pit them against foes that do not fall to single sword swings or fireballs, and those who threaten their characters' lives in a very direct manner. And they expect that despite this, they will have a better-than-average chance of winning.

However, the level of heroism is not something the game designer can truly control. Certainly, the designer must make sure that players have a good chance of succeeding at actions, that they have a shot at beating foes of reasonably higher levels of power, that weaker foes can be threatening, but are not entirely likely (barring incredible luck or foolish tactics on the players' parts) of taking down these superior warriors. However, this article is directed less at those who design the role playing game than those who design the game. This is for the game masters, the referees, the quest lords, and any other title or acronym that goes into naming the player who runs the story, controls the secondary characters, and presents the challenges for the characters to overcome.

The Risk: The risk you take lies in the design of your game and the opposition you place your characters up against. You have control of the game world. It is technically possible for you to go and throw a thirtieth level dragon up against a group of fifth-level adventurers. Thereafter, your fellow players will generally choose a new game master, but it can be done.

This sort of encounter, however, is no fun. Likewise, it is not worth much when a party of 30th-level characters take on 5th-level soldiers. Sure, it might be fun every so often, giving the players the chance to show off their skills and reinforcing their level of power before you throw them back into the balanced world of even-level opponents, but it doesn't make for a good long-term game.

In addition to enemy levels, you should consider the risk of enemy tactics and design. Massive damage dealers may be scary, and throwing them in every now and then can certainly rattle players, but such opponents are much more likely to take the entire party down--and do so fatally, rather than just dropping them. You want to maintain risk, of course, every bit as much as the game designer. However, if every fight carries a large-scale chance of character death, the game is probably going to be rather short. Most game masters put a lot of thought into developing an entertaining story line--it would be a shame for the game to end during the introduction!

You may also want to consider things from a realistic standpoint. Generally speaking, in a fight, people care first about staying alive, second about winning. Perhaps when everyone is wounded the enemy mage does have a good chance of wiping out half the party--but is it worth the mage's own life to do so? Most wise warriors would rather live to fight another day than sell their own lives to score kills. Not all, of course, but many. So too, many fighters would rather focus on their defenses than go for attack after attack, waiting for an opening to strike rather than offering such to their opponents.

The Solution: The trick is, when you design a battle, make it tough without being excessively deadly. This isn't to say to never go for strong attacks--if the players just aren't getting it together, the opposition is not going to hold back forever!--but don't make them the focus of every battle. It is possible--sometimes even easy--to show players a hard fight without threatening them with immediate death.

Defense-oriented opponents are usually very annoying to players, and sometimes even scarier than attack-oriented foes, in their own ways. An attacker might cause massive harm, but if you take it out quick, it's not that powerful. Defenders, however, evade and accept attacks with ease. Well-used, and a defense-oriented opponent, especially a major villain, can make players feel nearly impotent, increasing the perceived threat of the battle even though the villain isn't scoring any hits either.

Fodder opponents can also benefit from defense-oriented stats, especially those that allow them to take more hits. These foes aren't expected to actually win, but the longer they last, the more opportunity they have to wear the characters down.

A defender with solid--but not excessive--offensive power is a stressful opponent to face. Not only do the players have trouble dealing solid damage, but this sort of opponent is actually having an effect. This is a good template for an elite but not primary foe. The main villain's personal guards, for example.

If you do use attackers, consider strikes that weaken and inhibit rather than those that damage and slay outright. This escalates the danger of the battle without necessarily pushing the characters over the edge. Putting one of these types in with other opponents, such as some tanks to absorb punishment, can do much to make a fight seem harder than it might actually be.

Stealthy foes, if used properly, can hassle players. Stealth/speed type opponents can really get players nervous, as such foes can conceal themselves and attack quickly enough that players might think they are facing a much larger group than they really are.

A balanced game makes a game master's job easier, but the game designer's hard work goes to waste if you don't allow characters their chance to shine--while keeping them from getting overconfident. Don't coddle the players, but don't feel as if every battle must be a grueling test of their resilience. Wise enemy design can make players feel as if the battle is much riskier than it actually is, keeping the game fun and challenging without threatening to end the entire story in a single encounter.

Copyright © 2006 Dustin Schwerman.

Dustin Schwerman has been playing RPGs for over a decade, using an analytical approach to critically evaluate the game systems (and so to create the most powerful characters he could get away with). He used the extensive experience gained doing so to create his own game, Quests of the Realm. QoTR focuses on unlimited character customization, relying on its author's understanding to detect and counter game-breaking power plays. Though balanced, QoTR still allows players to create highly effective characters and run them through heroic story lines. To contact Dustin, read more of his writings, or learn more about Quests of the Realm, visit his web site, Quellian-dyrae [http://www.quelliandyrae.com].