Recently I had a impromptu chat with Tim of the Samwise Seven RPG YouTube channel and the YouTube RPG Brigade on Facebook. There was no real setup and we just went off the cuff. The bad background sounds were my fault as I was clashing around in the kitchen. My first Google Hangout – so lesson learned.
We ended up chatting for a good 23 minutes about Rolemaster. A great, old, RPG from way back that we both enjoyed. You can find the video of the chat here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Bbj8N_ebgg.
One of the things we touched on was the ease of playing Rolemaster and how to make it more approachable for new players. That’s what the rest of this post will be about.
So I picked up my first new D&D product in what was likely 13+ years. I got the newest 5th ed. Player’s Handbook on release. I had seen a few videos on it and read a couple of beta test reviews that actually piqued my curiosity.
The first thing that drew me in was the art. It seemed like it was half going back to the old AD&D 2nd style of rich painting styles where realism was a desire and half way between the art in 3rd, 3.5 and 4th. I was never a fan of the anime-esque art since AD&D 2nd. It’s just not my thing. I was partially drawn into AD&D 2nd in my youth due to the incredible art (and on course there were a lot of not so credible art works within), but the modern art seemed to be calling out to the Yugi-Oh! generation. So in short – new art good – previous art can suck it.
When running an RPG game I have a few ‘house rules’ that I implement on myself as a Games Master. One of them is something that I notice that many people who run games refuse to do.
And that is killing player characters.
I’m not saying I’m going out of my way to wipe everyone out – I have seen those GMs in action before. I’m talking about not doing the players any favors. I always make a point to not use GM screens and never pull the dice. Well – almost never.
If I roll a killing strike on a player, they are going to die. I’m not going to pull it unless it serves the story directly. I ran a game once where the basic story was that someone from a village was destined to slay an evil overlord type. The overlord raised the city and the players were the survivors. I pulled no punches until there were 2 of them left, then they were ‘temporarily invulnerable’… although I never told them this. That was when the rolls were secret, or fudged attack stats against them. Continue reading