Monday, 22 April 2019

Mysthea (something epic this way comes)

Mockup of the hardback book

An ancient, crystal-encrusted planet is rocked by war. As Kingdom fights Empire and the borderlands are caught in the middle, you are sent to rebuild the liberated city of Montara and make the surrounding lands safe for your Houses. As the years pass and this city makes its mark on you, where will your loyalties lie? With your Kingdom, with your House, with this new city, or only with yourself? 

Render from Tabletop SimulatorI just backed this Kickstarter with all the add-ons and fixins an man I cant wait to get my hands on this. For anyone who has not played UFO Press's previous game Legacy: Life Among the Ruins, you should definitely check out Mysthea: Legends from the Borderlands. Both are truly amazing games that have revolutionized Table Top RPG's. I cannot even begin to tell you how awesome these games are: they simply have to be played to be believed. I would put these books up there with Dungeon World and Blades in the Dark for being game changers. I will never play or run my games the same because of these games and have even sold off a lot of my old TRPG staples because I just cannot see myself going back to the play styles they utilize. Here lies true innovation, something Pbta games do really well.

For anyone looking to play something revolutionary and truly EPIC at the table you should check out UFO Press. Both Jay Isles and Douglas Santana Mota of UFO Press have quickly become two of my personal game design heroes and I eagerly look forward to further works.

Click through to download the quickstart

To check out Mysthea and get your group up and running today check out

Mysthea Legends of the Borderlands: The Bitter March - FREE Quickstart.

Happy Gaming!

Powered by the Apocalypse

I have been running Table Top RPG's for quite a while throughout many editions of many different rules systems and it wasn't until I grabbed a copy of Dungeon World that I was finally able to run my games the way I had always imagined them playing out in my mind. And the best part is all you need to play Dungeon World is just one book that comes in a handy digest size that makes it easy to  use and carry around for game nights.

Now I have been running 5th edition for over a couple of years now and at my peak was running three separate groups in three different Campaigns and I never had a problem with combat. In fact it wasn't until after playing Dungeon World and going back to initiative based combat that my perception and enjoyment of combat changed. I now found initiative based combat to be lacking in the excitement and cinematic quality that Dungeon World presented and honestly to be rather boring.

I then started to run my 5e adventures in a way that minimized combat and focused more on the role playing because I found that combat really dragged on and interrupted the flow of the game at higher levels. The larger the group the larger the drag, the more decisions to make, the more bonus actions to take, reactions to be made etc, etc.

Don't get me wrong I love 5th edition but my approach to running it has now changed.

I started running Dungeon World more and I found myself really looking forward to game nights and being able to run my games the way I had always imagined them playing out in my minds eye. With the following being highlights of how my games were now playing out at the table each session.

1. More collaborative. The players had much more say in the shape, history and lore of the world.

2. Rather than playing out a story-line we were playing out the Characters stories.

3. Combat became quick and cinematic. No longer a chore. Players started to really look forward to epic set piece battles and we covered a lot more ground in each session.

4. No more initiative! This may sound strange to someone raised on D&D and it sounded like a blasphemy when I first heard about it but holy shit this has changed everything and I don't really want to go back!

The greatest thing playing Dungeon World has changed for me is that I now really look forward to creating epic combats and huge skirmishes with tons of enemies because they are now a joy to play out. I find that combat plays out just like you would read it in your favorite fantasy book, featuring your favorite heroes. Now that doesn't mean you cant die, because you can and that is another feature I love about this game. Even dying has an elegant mechanic that totally drives more character driven story.

Dungeon World belongs to a family of games that utilize the Powered By The Apocalypse game engine (PbtA) and this engine has absolutely revolutionized not only how I run & play my games but also how I design and prep my Campaigns.

I have never had so much fun running games, and the feedback from players has been incredible.

In short Dungeon World has left me a changed Game Master.

In future posts I will be presenting some of my favorite game mechanics from Pbta games and sharing them with you in the hopes that perhaps some of you may indeed give it a try if for no other reason than to add some awesome tools to your Game Mastering tool belt.

Happy Gaming!

CoA Arc 1- Session 1 (Follow the Trail)

Related image

With Lord Toth having provided a sketch of his daughter Joldandra, the players have little else to go on. The missing girl is 19, beautiful, and an artist who is constantly in the public eye, and to make matters worse has many admirers among the old Nobility.

The party do some digging around on the streets and find out that the girl they are looking for was last seen at a tavern called The Chains, so named because of the massive chains that ascend from the dark depths of the earth far into the sky. There they find out from a close friend of Joldandra's that the girl they are seeking has recently become obsessed with gaining entry to her families mausoleum after coming into the possession of her deceased mothers journal. They also learn that the missing girl had copies of old maps outlining the old tunnels that run beneath the city. Tunnels that lead directly to the Crypts beneath the Church of Ages, for women are forbidden in the Crypts.

Leaving the Tavern the group stops the attempted murder of their informant from the tavern but not before her companion is slain and the assassins flee. They also learn more about the missing girl.

The players follow leads to an old Theater where the missing girl Joldandra was previously the leading lady of the performing troupe and find a copy of one of the old maps in her makeup desk, detailing ancient tunnels beneath the old quarters that run from the city proper to the depth of the Church.

The party heads for the Church of Ages where they learn the Proctor is away on Church business but his understudy Brother Dorrak grants them entry after learning that his close child hood friend Joldandra has gone missing and is believed to be somewhere far below the Church seeking her families mausoleum.

With Brother Dorrak's assistance they gain entry to the basement of the Church and the long shaft that descends into the depths of the Crypts far below.....

Friday, 19 April 2019

CoA Arc 1- Session Zero (Nightfall)

In the City of Nightfall as a strange comet lights the midnight skies in strange ominous hues a member of a great Noble House has gone missing.

Perhaps by reputation or perhaps out of desperation, you have been secretly summoned by the Lord of house Gormak, the mightiest of all the Orc clan houses of Akados.

Lord Toth, brother of the great General Skorn is in need of a small team who can navigate the city streets and find his niece who has gone missing.

He is willing to pay well for your discretion and has offered pardon for any acceptable crimes committed in returning her home safely.

With the 40 year war recently at end, and the uneasy armistice in effect, you found yourself out of a job. Not much work for a killer now. And so you use your skills from the war to scrape a living.

Ah the good old days. Heavy ammunition's and devilish infiltration. There is nothing like the sound of a city falling. Oh well, you manage to get by as an Investigator for the guild and have become damn good at what you do, perhaps to good.....

The Players

Shrub- Human, Ex- Sapper. Munitions expert. No wall has ever stood in his way.

Skulls- Orc, Ex- Inflitrator. Sewing distrust and chaos from within.

Both are believed to be dead, hung upon the gallows along with their units by the Imperium after the 40 year war.

The Chains Of Ages (Preludes to the Campaign)

The Times before Ages
In a time before the first age
the White Witch created 5 races in her image
and granted them life eternal.
Timeless her children grew powerful
and sought to overthrow their Mother,
and so the White Witch chained her children and their world to the ages.
Now mortal and broken with time, the White Witch waged war on her children
devouring them all.
The few that were spared gave birth to the first race,
and magic was in their blood....

So began the Ages...

The 40 year war has ended.
The lands of Akados now lay occupied by the Imperium and their invincible city state.
During the war the mighty clans of Akados carved a path of destruction through the continent of the Imperium and were on the verge of  great victory when everything changed in a matter of moments.
The Imperial Mages had discovered the Warp, and the armies of Akados fell overnight,
And its great cities fell....

My hacked version of John Harpers Ghost Lines map.

Mysthea (something epic this way comes)

An ancient, crystal-encrusted planet is rocked by war. As Kingdom fights Empire and the borderlands are caught in the middle, you...