Cultures in Gaming

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Okay, this is straight click-bait headlining! First, sorry for the long delay in our posting. In between school, recording videos, and running games we have been busy (check out our Youtube for more!). Second, we have been developing a few new things (mostly some shop work on our already made property). Last, we are getting back, so get used to it!.

First things first, this is not meant to be take-down on culture. With that being said, here we go:

Cultures impact on gaming–

Cultures impact gaming in a three-fold way. While this may seem over-simplistic, it is correct on a meta-level. So, what are these folds? Simple:

1. Grows the feel of the game: Having different cultures can make a game feel more real. It gets real boring if every culture in the game feels like stock fantasy. Take, for example, dwarves. If everyone of them feels like Gimli from Lord of the Rings then no one will care about the rest of your meta. They will assume that they are simple. Instead you should create a rich background and healthy world-view for them. Give them life, and it can make people take a second chance on your game world.

2.Grows the meta: Cultural differences can make the meta feel like a real world. Take the Forgotten Realms. The Dwarves have a super deep lore. So do the Elves, Drow, and other races. It sucks you into the world itself. The events, the characters, and the Pantheon become much more important when the cultures have true differences.

3.Grows the feel of play: Cultures can make your play experience different and more lively. Take games like 7th Sea. If you dig into the cultures then you see how they should be played. They feel different, and play different. A Vodacce is much different from an Avalonian.

As always guys and gals, tell us what you think. Just don’t be a dick about it!

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#RPGaDay 2016 is coming

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Hi ladies and gents! Been a while since I have had anything to say, but I am back! We are going to do #RPGaDay again this year (check our archives for last year’s). It starts in a scant 11 days, so we will be doing videos and blog postings about it. Hope you guys are getting ready. I hope that some of you are going to participate this year as well. Feel free to grab the image from above to see what the questions are.

A Christian Gamer’s Perspective (or How to be Religious, and still a gamer)

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Hi guys and gals,

Today I wanted to bring up a five point defense of how Christian (or other religious) gamers feel in the tabletop community. As anyone can tell you, the growth of atheism or agnosticism has pushed (or at least made it feel that way!) religious gamers to the margins of gaming. Knowing that, in reality, gaming is a vast, complex, and diverse community, I feel the need to discuss how being religious can be challenging, and how the religious gamer can feel right at home:

(1). Ignore attacks or jokes

Ignore anyone who tries to attack your faith. I have been in Google Hangouts, games, or even at my FLGS when the jokes and hate start. “Christians (or the religious) are stupid! Let’s all laugh at them!”

This is hard to ignore, because how you worship is a personal issue. What you believe doesn’t have any (or rather, shouldn’t have) effect on your ability to game. Don’t get me wrong, there are things I avoid (as I have discussed before), but I don’t ever try to force that on others.

On the same side of this, don’t ever make attacks or jokes against another religion. If that would make you feel uncomfortable, then it is likely that it would do the same to others. Play by the rule: “Don’t do something to someone that you wouldn’t want done to you.”

(2). Be aware of what makes you uncomfortable

So, what makes a Christian uncomfortable? Well, in truth it varies from person to person. I, for example, will not play games like Nephilim or Demon: The Fallen. I have personal foibles with invoking demons. If you can do so, don’t let me stop you.

Being aware of what makes you uncomfortable makes it easier to discuss it with your table. It makes it easier to walk away from a table to is making you so. No one has to live by your standards (and you shouldn’t expect them to), but you should stick by your principles.

(3). Stand your ground

Do not let others chase you off of your hobby. If they want to attack or joke (with the intent to hurt or make you uncomfortable), then stand your ground. Know what you believe, and then defend it. If others can’t handle that, then you don’t need them in your life. There are plenty of gamers out there who will respect you no matter what.

(4). Find a Table that Respects you

This goes right together with the previous statement. Don’t stay at a table or in a group that hates you for being religious. They can make your life toxic, and can make you doubt things that they have no reason to doubt. Why does it matter to them if you follow the Flying Spaghetti Monster? People who respect you will give you a much better gaming experience.

(5). Be who and what you are!

Never stop being who you are. If you believe in God, then do so. If you don’t, then the same goes for you. Don’t stop being a Christian (or other religious person) because you feel it is the only way you will feel at home. Keep your principles at the front and center of your life. If someone demands that you change to meet their standards, they aren’t worth being around.

Guys, we welcome your comments. In this case, we will delete any comments that are directed at ANY faith or belief structure. These guidelines apply to other circumstances, but in the case of religious players, they apply double time. It does feel that many gamers are not religious. This is fine, and in fact I will never ask that you change (not that you should care what I think). With the onslaught of (or rise of) non-religion in our culture I felt this was important so that those who do believe in a God (or gods, or nothing) had a voice. They deserve to know that someone out there understands the issue. As always guys, don’t be a dick!

Review: Codex of Heroes

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Hello again guys and gals,

This week we are going to be doing a review! I am going to tackle the Codex of Heroes for the Arcanis: World of Shattered Empires RPG. This is a great splat book, and adds quite a bit of detail to the game. So without further ado, here is the review!

Overview: 

This is a well laid out 186 page book. The binding is strong, and the art is good. We would not be doing our jobs if we don’t mention that some of the art is reused from other sources. Doesn’t make it bad, but it does get frustrating from a design layout. Overall, the book adds quite a bit to the game, which we will cover below.

Codex of Whispers

This codex covers secret societies and guilds. This is a great section, since they don’t get a great treatment in the core rules. This section has a general layout that follows the following:
NAME
This is just what it sounds like! 
GOALS
This is the general goals that the group will set out to complete.
ACHIEVING THE GOAL
This is how the group will generally go about completing the goals.
ORGANIZATION
The hierarchy and structure of the society.
HEADQUARTERS AND SAFE HOUSES
Where the organization keeps its main HQ and what the safe houses are like.
JOINING
How to join the group.
ALLIES AND ENEMIES
Who the group likes and hates (and in return likes and hates them!).

So, who are these groups? There are 7 Secret Societies:

The Champions of the Silver Chalice: These guys are a group of paladin like crusaders who seek to keep back the dark, in regards to the final wish of King Osric (who died in the Sixth Crusade of Light).

Emerald Society: These guys seek to renew the secrets of the past so that they can enlighten those who live now and in the future.

The Feather Men: Wetwork, theft, planting evidence, or just about anything that you can imagine doing from a Thieve’s Guild (even though that is not what they are known as). The best way to put it is “If one were to draw a dot for every act that can be attributed to the organization on a piece of paper, no discernable picture would appear.”

Followers of the Azure Way: These guys are a group of masons who have taken it upon themselves to rebuild the ancient roadways and byways that made up the First Imperium.

The Laerestri: These Elorii plot and plan ways to stop humanity from becoming united. They are afraid that united humans could overtake the Elorii and destroy them.

The Mourners in Silence: These guys are suppose to empower mankind by setting it free from the shackles of superstition.

The Orthodoxy: These men worship the pantheon as a whole, as opposed to individual gods. This is a throwback to the time of the Golden Age of Man.

The Sanctorum of the Arcane: These members defend the gifted from the harvesters of Ymandragore.

This chapter closes out with a good set of rules on Renown and Faction. This includes how to move up in the group and how to grant those rewards from the GMs side of the screen.

Codex of Heroes

This section starts out with a good overview of the process involved in creating an Arcanis hero. It goes into the “20 Questions” (although they only use 10) that many RPG use to help develop a character.

The Codex adds three new races to the mix as well: Ashen Hide Ss’ressen, Ghost Scale Ss’ressen, Undir. These races are awesome, and help to flesh out some of the information about areas that are glossed over in the core. You find out more about the Ss’ressen that live in the Human lands (rather than in the more traditional clutches!) and you discover more about the Kio through the Undir, who are de facto slaves.

The book adds plenty of new backgrounds (everything from a Crusader of the 5th/6th Crusade of Light to a Veteran of the Altherian War). It also adds in some really cool new uses for skills. Again, this is all added onto the base in the core rules.

New Flaws and Talents take up quite a big chunk of this section. They add quite a few cool new ones. This includes adding in the Talent to take fighting styles, which is added into this section as well.

There is a handful of new pieces of equipment in there as well. The biggest part of equipment is the addition of Herbs and their uses. This does explain the use of poison as well.

Maneuvers get their own section in this section as well, adding some cool new ways to pull off tricks.

The last part of this section is a slew of new Paths.

Codex of Magic

This section adds bunches of new spells! It also adds in two new traditions: Blood and Pantheonistic (Priest of Sarish gain Blood magic and Orthodoxy members gain Pantheonistic).

This is really the meat of this section!

Codex of Faith

This section details how the faiths are practiced. It tells a little about the god, what their sphere of influence is, what their temple is like, and what the role of the priests are. Over all this is a great section for anyone playing a divine caster or a GM wanting to run a game based heavily on the divine.

Overall

This is a great book. It suffers from the same problem as the other Arcanis books, and that is that it is not cross-referenced very well. If you see that a talent has a prerequisite then you must check on the other requirements to make sure that they don’t have requirements of their own.  This can be fixed in two ways: an Omnidex or by simply putting in that information in future publications. I am going to give this book 4/5 for design and 3/5 for layout.

 

Free RPG Day Live Blog

Hey guys and gals,

 

Here we are at my local FLGS, getting ready to run through “The Derelict”, an adventure for Call of Cthulhu 7th edition. We intend to keep you up to date with adventure information, game information, and general fun! Watch this page for more updates throughout the day.

UPDATE 11:50 am: The Delilah is a 95 foot motor yacht accommodating up to 10 people in luxury. It cruises at 20 knots with a max speed of 22 knots. This is the ship that the PC investigators will start on.

UPDATE 12 pm: Starting the adventure here in a few minutes. Have 4 players at the table, and am ready to see how everything goes. Will give you periodic updates as the game progresses. Let’s see how many investigators I can send crazy or kill!

UPDATE 12:27 pm: Game started. The group has just loaded onto the Groenland Tropisch.

UPDATE 12:43 pm: Group has found a severed hand and drag marks next to blood that was frozen. First reaction was “What the fuck was that!?”

UPDATE 13:13: Players have found a room that looks like a Jackson Pollard painting made of blood.

UPDATE 13:47: Found the body of Thorolf Lofgren. Of course they are more confused than before they found the body.

UPDATE 14:02: Radio room and wheelhouse have been found destroyed. Group wants to go back to their ship. Let’s see what happens!

UPDATE 14:15: One dead crew member later, the crew is going back to the Delilah to find out what is going on.

UPDATE 14:34: Fighting the Sciapod.

UPDATE 14:46: Killed my first investigator! Eaten alive by the Sciapod!

UPDATE 14:52: Going fishing for a Cthluhu mythos creature by using  a corpse and a crane!

UPDATE 15:00: They beat it! Good job from the players. Paul Maplesden, Alan and Jo Gratz, Jonanthan Cook.

UPDATE 17:00: Playing Savage Kingdoms, run by Bobby Ray.

UPDATE 17:26: Fight between two PCs. One of them is choking out the other.

UPDATE 17:44: “You are not getting a camel based on what happened last time.”

UPDATE 18:11: Fight with bandits! Skewer them in the face, and the line “Had fertilizer been spilled here lately?”

UPDATE 18:24: Where there was once white fur, there is red.

UPDATE 18:45: Help! Help! I’m being repressed!
Had a player treating the gentry like dirt and made me think of that line.
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UPDATE 19:23: Shot an enemy with a blow dart with a 54 on the dice. One massive shot in the face later, and a poison dart, and we have one less captain of the enemy “guard”. tumblr_mcwb1ro5Hq1r7bjavo1_500

UPDATE 19:56: One of the players rolled to kill someone with his claws and made the to-hit at 42. Nothing like snuffing out someone on the meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything!

UPDATE 20:11: Bobby is simply mad about the 54 earlier.

UPDATE 20:52: In the final combat!

UPDATE 22:16: Game day is completed. Great day, and great people. Thanks to everyone who played in, and with, me in both games!

 

 

 

 

Disability

Ability Not Disability

So Ladies and Gents, it has been a while  since we have posted. School and real life have been a bear, so we have been dealing. Today I want to take a deeper look at something that I have discussed in brief here before: Disability at the game table. What does it mean and how can we work with those who are affected?

First things first, if anyone sees something that hurts their feelings in this post, I am sorry. I am going to be factual. I am going to deal with things such as mental illness, sexuality, and physical disability in terms that adults can understand. That being said, this is not a trigger warning or anything. This is a blunt truth. Much as Ben Shapiro says “The Facts don’t give a good damn about your feelings”, so if you get offended, your fault.

Let’s get started!

What is a disability? 

A disability is defined as “a disadvantage or handicap, especially one imposed or recognized by the law.” This can come in many forms. They can be things such as bipolar or MS, all the way to things such as sexual confusion (this includes Transgenderism and sexual orientation). NOTE: Homosexuality is not a mental disorder, nor is transgenderism. They are disabilities in this conversation, since they do have a tendency to limit the ability, or at least to create a feeling that they do, of those who see themselves in that grouping (among the LGBT).

Since we have a baseline definition of “disability”, we can then look at what makes them so damaging at the game table. Disabilities can cripple some people. Yes, this includes people who feel alienated for being women, gay, or even transgender. Too many times, game groups have taken the stance that if someone can’t cope with the crass nature of the table, it is their fault. This is high caliber bullshit. We should work to make them feel welcome, which I will discuss later.

Take, for example, someone with bipolar. They often suffer from social anxiety, extreme frustration at simple matters, or even bouts of unexplained anger. These “faults” can stop a table dead. This goes double when the person doesn’t feel capable of sharing his/her troubles with the table. The table needs to understand that he/she is really trying to live a normal life. They are trying to enjoy things much like everyone else. They often fail. Again, this can apply to someone who is LGBT or even an opposite sex from the rest of the table. If a gay man is struggling with depression because of, say, relationship issues he may not be able to vent that with the group. This alienates him. He is disabled at that point.

How to recognize a disability

This is not simple. Not at all. Men, in particular, try to hide when things are wrong. We are programmed to be that way. Even LGBT men (if they be gay men or transgender men) feel this way at times. Sometimes, it is imperative to be able to “read” someone. Know when something is off.

Women, on the other hand, don’t per se hide their feelings. They can, but often times (at least in my experience) become much more emotional about what is going on. Again, this is a generalization. Plenty of men have emotion and no difficulty sharing. Some women hide what is going on.

So, how can we tell if it is just a “funk” or something deeper. It all starts with knowing the people you play with. If someone constantly has a hard time not getting mad, that may be a warning sign that something deeper is wrong. Not always, mind you. Know the warning signs of severe issues. If someone is mentally ill, they will have “tells”. They often don’t even know them.

DO NOT EVER CALL SOMEONE OUT ON THEIR TELLS. It is fine to ask “Is everything okay?” or “Man, are you okay?” Do not say “Man, something is wrong and I know it.” That will only serve to frustrate them more.

Up to this point, I have focused mostly on mental issues. That is because they are much harder to deal with than physical issues. This is three-fold. First, physical issues manifest in physical ways. Someone with MS, for example, may shake or spasm. Second, physical issues can be accommodated much easier. Last, physical issues tend to be less touchy. This is not always true. You don’t ever want to point out that someone has a cleft lip or a disfigured hand. That would be rude as hell. Much like with mental illness, it is imperative that you never call attention to their ailments. It is fine to ask if they are okay if they start having spasms or are having a hard time holding something. DO NOT EVER STATE THE PROBLEM. Never say “Hey man, you are having spasms, are you okay?” The better way of phrasing it is to say “Hey man, you look like you are having a hard time, you okay?”

How to deal with disability at the table

This is the meat. This is truth section. Many people will, I am sure, disagree with me. Here we go.

First, make sure that the person who is disabled has room. This can be anything from physical room (if they have physical space issues [ex. in a wheelchair or doesn’t like feeling “crowded”]) to giving them mental space (letting them alone when they need a few minutes to reset). Room is one of the most important things that a disabled person (even if it is a temporary disability) needs.

Second, respect them for having the strength to live beyond their issues. Being disabled, even if it means feeling out of place (such as being the only woman at a table of men), can be disorienting. Giving those people the respect that they deserve for showing the strength to try to live beyond that discomfort will show them that they can be “normal”. Being normal is a big boost to the emotional and (sometimes) physical health of the disabled person.

Third, try to control your reactions to the disability. Do not be condescending. If you have one LGBT member at the table who wants to let off his frustration at the fight they had with their significant other, let them. Don’t tell them things like “no one cares” or “everyone has that problem”. It is important for the person who feels disabled to feel like they have an outlet for their issues. This goes doubly for those who are mentally ill.

Fourth, be understanding. If someone comes to the table and is having issues, be open to allowing them to vent them. If a schizophrenic comes to your table in a foul mood, do whatever you can to allow him to get out of the mood. THIS DOES NOT MEAN MAKE YOURSELF A DOOR MAT. The schizophrenic isn’t doing things because he wants to. Often times the disabled person is compulsed to do it.

Last, let the disabled person be themselves. Don’t try and create a persona for them. This is true for those who are paralyzed because they are alone at the table. A woman in a group of guys or the LGBT member at a table full of straight people can feel pressured to act like “one of the guys”. They never should feel that way. They should always feel like they are who they are, and no one cares. That means if you are gay, don’t be afraid to voice it. If you are a woman, don’t try to act like a guy (unless that is how you are!). If you are bipolar, don’t try to act like you don’t have it. If you have a physical issue, don’t try to do things that would hurt you.

As always guys, we welcome you opinions on this! Don’t be dick.

NOTE 1: The author of this piece is severely bipolar. He knows how a lot of this feels. He has been treated great by some groups, piss-poorly by others, and like a child by even others. He hopes that people do not think he is simply speaking out of his ass.

NOTE 2: I certainly hope that people understand what I meant about being LGBT and being “disabled” at the game table. You can be temporarily disabled by feeling alienated or alone. This can lead to a lot of issues, including forcing oneself to be something they really aren’t. That isn’t fair to those who are LGBT, opposite sexes from the majority, or even plain out disabled in other ways.

Changes to the site, structure, and future

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Hey guys,

We are going through some changes here at Legacy. We have some new stuff coming up, and the page is taking on some of those changes head on. We intend to keep you up to date on the Live Plays we are doing, as well as giving you more information on the company. This includes more information on us, the people who run it. We are excited for the future of the group, and hope that you are too! Keep your eyes and ears open gang, as we hope to bring you more content, both here and at the You Tube Channel.

MACE West Update

 

Well ladies and gentlemen, we have made it through MACE West (or at least the games we are going to run!). We ran Dresden Files last night. This morning we ran Dragon Age, and this afternoon we ran A Song of Ice and Fire.

First: Dresden Files– The Cold Knight

The group seemed to have a good time, and we enjoyed the story. The players got engrossed in engaging the storyline, which is always a plus. Finding out  that the Winter Knight had been turned into a Malk by the Winter Lady was a twist that they didn’t see coming. Overall, I enjoyed running the game and the players seemed to enjoy themselves!

Second: Dragon Age–Grave of the Darkspawn

The group was having a lot of fun with this one. They did blow through it in about 2 hours. This is not their fault. I should have prepped more, just in case. The playtest group took about 3-4 hours to pull it off, and I expected similar behaviors here. I didn’t get that same dynamic. The result was a much shorter game that I had intended. The players, yet again, seemed to enjoy this one as well.

Last: A Song of Ice and Fire — Pennies and Dragons

This game was a surprise. I only had two pre-registrations for it, but wound up with five at the table. The game went much longer than the other two (by about an hour). The group seemed really into the story, and engaged with the world. Everyone got a chance to shine a little. They all liked the game, and were having fun.

Next Note: We have made contact with several groups or individuals at MACE that we are proud to try and introduce to you.

First is the group that is producing “Hull Breach”. These are some genuinely good people. They come from all over, and one of the designers is a First Sgt with the US Army out of Ft. Bragg. They have a new kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hullbreach/hull-breach-in-defiance-of-dictators-card-game?ref=nav_search)  that we would love for you to check out! Also check out the website at http://www.hullbreachgame.com/#hull-breach.

Second is Mythoard. They are an RPG based Subscription service in the same vein as Loot Crate. They are old school gamers at heart, and their product shows this. We would love if you would consider checking them out at http://www.mythoard.com/.

Last is Mike Yow. Mike is a designer based right here in Asheville. He created a sword and sorcery style game called Savage Kingdoms. It is based on Conan and other tales like it. Looks like a great system, and you can check him out at http://mikeyow.wix.com/savage-kingdoms.

Mace West: March 18-20, 2016

 

Hi guys and dolls! We are busy getting ready for MACE West here in Asheville, NC. We have three games to run, and two that we intend to play in. We are going to be running:

Dresden Files — “The Cold Knight”

Dragon Age — “Grave of the Darkspawn”

A Song of Ice and Fire — “Pennies and Dragons”

Feel free, if you are in the area, to drop in and check out the games. We will try to get photos of the events (won’t be able to do audio, too loud). We will also be posting post-play post, live from the convention!