Category Archives: role-playing gaming

Articles about role-playing games

Return of Revenge of Shinobi

NinjaSome more design notes on yesterday’s post:

Despite the character’s theme, the shinobi is not going to replace a rogue in a party. If you want that kind of ninja, perhaps the new class from Paizo (or, really, an actual rogue) is for you. This orthogonality is one of the things that makes it interesting to me, really, though it carries risks. With a fighter-like attack bonus, and only four skill ranks per level, the class actually resembles nothing quite so much as a ranger. And even having strengthened the class’s Dodge ability, that six-sided hit die isn’t going to go a long way in a warrior role.
Continue reading Return of Revenge of Shinobi

The Revenge of Shinobi

NinjaI guess everybody’s got to take a crack at ninja sooner or later. I know of at least three ninja character classes for third edition Dungeons & Dragons, just off the top of my head. To a Gamemaster casting non-player characters, this is arguably three more than are needed. I mean, really, if you need that kind of guy in your game, you can probably fill the part just fine with a rogue, monk, or assassin build.

But that was never really what many alternate character classes were about. Continue reading The Revenge of Shinobi

Review: Story Games Portrait Cards

Story Game Character Portraits
I’ve written before about Jeff Preston’s 108 Terrible Character Portraits, and about the print-on-demand service at The Game Crafter. It’s surprising that I didn’t think before of putting the two together. Luckily, though, it didn’t, because I’d have been disappointed to find that someone got there first. Continue reading Review: Story Games Portrait Cards

Black Flag, White Space

Page layout
I’ve finished up the stat blocks for Cap’n No-Beard and her pirate crew. So I’m done with those entries, right? Well, that’s what it would mean, except for one thing.

I’d originally thought I might use an abbreviated stat block for No-Beard’s crew of Grimlock pirates, just noting the points on which they differed from a typical Grimlock. Except, wait, Grimlocks aren’t actually in the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary! Oops. They were in the core rulebooks for Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition Monster Manual, but the Pathfinder guys didn’t see fit to include them. So, no problem, they’ve been converted by others (thanks, Open Game License!), but that means my whole layout has to change to include a complete stat block for them. And now there’s a gaping hole on No-Beard’s page, while the Grimlock pirates get a half page of their own. Check out the gaping-ness of the gaping hole in the latest version.

Filling graphical space is not a problem I’m accustomed to when writing. So that’s something I’m learning in this particular exercise. Hooray, learning!

“We Calls Her that to be Polite”

Today, in honor of Gary Gygax’s birthday, I return to my Dungeons & Dragons-based character sketches. This entry is the first based on a character I’ve actually already used in a game: the sea hag pirate, Cap’n No-Beard.

Cap'n No-BeardNo-Beard is based on a fairly simple concept of synergy between monster types. On the one hand, the sea hag, with her debilitating gaze attack. On the other, the eyeless grimlocks, who will be her crew. Perhaps not the best sailors in the world, but a terror in midnight raids. Continue reading “We Calls Her that to be Polite”