The Markdown Mechanic

I never tend to get uncomfortable in roleplaying games and part of that is usually because I tend to challenge my comfort zone time and time again. So, when I was introduced to the X Card safety mechanic, while I wanted really badly to test it out (as I do with any new game mechanic), I couldn’t find a good moment to properly use it until the very end of the session, where I used it on myself because I got a little too intense with my character. Long story short, I was playing Dread with some friends for a Halloween event and my character went through a harrowing experience.

However, there are times where my comfort zone will be challenged and I feel odd for going past it. Case in point, I played a session of Night Witches that ended up becoming so uncomfortable that I deleted the scene. During that session, I used the Mark mechanic, which is used as a consequence of certain moves or actions, as a cudgel against me making jokes about Downfall (a movie detailing the, well, downfall of Adolf Hitler, which ended up having tons of gag subtitles) and Soviet Russia being Big Brother.

As I’m going to be tackling FATAL, a rather infamous game for its uncomfortable everything and a module for Lamentations of the Flame Princess which is said to be 18+, I decided to try and recreate that, but as a central mechanic. Namely, the intent is to be used as a cudgel against me going for either uncomfortable moments or discourage me from doing things I’d normally do.

The tentative name for it is the Markdown Mechanic, and while I would base it off Night Witches’s own mechanic of Marking, it’s a unique beast that only works with Night Witches. I need something that I can use across all RPGs.

The idea? A table of 20 items that you must roll on once you do something that triggers it. For instance, let’s say I’m playing a game that is kid-friendly and encourages players to resolve conflicts without violence. I don’t want myself to resort to violence in tune to the game, so I want something for me to use when I do decide to go with violence.

You may ask why I don’t just don’t do it… And, well, it’s mostly because I end up getting too into the game and suddenly I have members of the Soviet Union dragging two soldiers who were harassing one of the characters and unpersoning them. Ergo this punishment mechanic.

Also because I’m a glutton for random events and this gives me a chance to tinker with something that allows that to happen.

So, I’m gonna use the infamous Deck of Many Things as my go-to template for the list. Except the deck is a bunch of X-Cards with almost nasty effects written on the back. I should also mention that every time you roll a result, you cross it out and reroll when that number comes up again in the future, so as to discourage the same things from happening. The list gets refreshed when all the events are used. Also, the list applies mostly for traditional RPGs that use levels and die rolls, so tweaking may be required for games like Genesys or Cortex.

Read the list

Replicating No Man’s Sky Through Engines, Systems, and Drivers

No Man’s Sky is a space exploration game using procedural generation to create millions of different planets. Some people hyped it to be the space exploration game with how open world it was. Unfortunately, many people felt cheated with how empty the game feels. This video, while long, helps sum up the problems that No Man’s Sky had. It’s so bad, that Steam is offering refunds to people.

I saw this review and figured that most, if not all, of what No Man’s Sky promised could be easily replicated with RPGs given the plethora of random generators and stuff like that. That or playing Mount & Blade. Oh man, have I gotten addicted to the original Mount & Blade game.

But I digress. Today, we’ll look at some ways we can replicate or even improve No Man’s Sky with the help of RPGs. I’ll make some recommendations for a No Man’s Sky Replication toolbox. These are just recommendations, but if you have an idea in mind, feel free to put it in the comments. Continue reading

Creating an NPC using the Rouze Cards

I figured I’d make another NPC creation post thingy. This time, I’d use the fictional Rouze cards from Kamen Rider Blade. They’re basically like poker cards, though with motifs of animals and powers. For example, the Ace of Spades is Change Beetle. Change being a card used to transform one into Kamen Rider Blade and Beetle being based off, well, a beetle.

I figure that my theme this time around will be superhero themed. I’m also gonna limit the selection to have the 2-10 range only, as the Ace, Jack, Queen, and King all have the same motif of Change, Fusion, Absorb, and Evolution respectively.

So let’s draw some cards! Continue reading

Creating an NPC using Tarokka Cards

Hey everyone. Sorry for the lack of updates. I somehow got swamped with a massive amount of business in my real life so I had to take stuff down a notch. The next couple of posts will be filler posts until I end up getting back on track and working on more solo sessions.

To start this post off, I am in love with the current D&D Storyline: Curse of Strahd. While I wasn’t around when the Ravenloft setting was beloved back in the day, a D&D veteran’s summary on the setting had me sold on it and when Wizards of the Coast announced that the next series adventures would be set in Ravenloft, I immediately squeed.

So, I figured that, if I were to do any solo gaming on D&D 5e using an official adventure, it would either be the Tyranny of Dragons story line (the first) or Curse of Strahd. However, I decided to create a character based off the latter’s use of the Tarokka Deck, Ravenloft’s answer to the Tarot Deck. As such, the setting I have in mind is gothic and full of terrors. Continue reading

The Fate Random Event System

Hey everyone. I’ll be doing Fate Solo for my next game and I had the idea of working on a Random Event system to go along with Fate Solo. So, here’s a brief system for random event generation, if you’re a big fan of that.

The first step is triggering the event. A good rule of thumb is that if the dice faces all have +s, -s, or blanks, then a Random Event is triggered. The only exception is getting blanks when asking a question, as you instead get to choose what answer you want. When asking a question, roll your dice like usual. If all the faces are +s or –s, you get a random event. Simple as that.

Although, that’s just one way. Another way is to do a Scene Roll. Every new scene, roll 2dF. If the results are 2 +s, 2 –s, or 2 blanks, you get a random event. If you feel like this is happening too frequently, you can add an additional Fate die. I’ve did some calculations, and you’re bound to get a random event 30% of the time you do a scene roll with two Fate Dice. Continue reading

Board Games = A Cartographer’s Dream Come True

If you have been watching Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop, he has mentioned at one point that there are four pillars of classical European-style Board Games.

  • Carcassonne
  • Settlers of Catan
  • Ticket To Ride
  • Alhambra

These four games all have one thing in common: they all operate on a map. Aside from Ticket To Ride, the maps for these games are customizable. While this can lead to fun-filled nights of beer and board games, it can also lead to a fun and creative night where you can create an entire realm for you to roam in, or perhaps for your party to make of it what they will. Continue reading

Creating An NPC using Clow Cards

So, I noticed that you can create NPCs based off Tarot Cards using the Nine Questions and I figured “Alright, time to test a new idea out.”

Instead of writing up an NPC based of Tarot Cards, I will use Clow Cards. For those who don’t know, Clow Cards are essentially fictional cards used in the Manga/Anime Card Captor Sakura which are similar to Tarot Cards from their appearance to even how they figure into the show (they could, on top of being used for magic, also be used for fortune telling). Most of the images are female characters, so chances are that our NPC will be female as well.

The way I’ll do this is that I’ll use a pretty advanced dice roller to determine what card I’ll use for which category. See, there are six domains that the cards fall in, and around eight to nine cards for each domain. Basically, I’ll first roll a D6, then a D10 + D8 for the card. So, let’s begin.

The setting I’m thinking of is an adventurous setting, full of jungles and dangers a plenty. Artifacts to be found, relics to be stolen, and rivals to beat. Sort of pulp adventure in a sense. With that in mind, let’s get to drawing. Same rules apply, draw three cards for each section. Continue reading