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Roleplaying Variety

- By Charlie T Dougal

Many of us at the AGS love a good role-playing game. There is a wealth of difference within this game-type; each with their own merits and potential draw-backs. Though I don’t claim to know everything about these (some not by a long way), I will be delivering an overview of a few systems that give a broad impression of pen and paper RPG genre.

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Language: The Lost

By Andrew “Rannos” Moran

One of the often underused attributes in any RPG is that of language. Most believable worlds are vast and have characteristics similar to our own and when your epic heroes travel further away it makes sense that they encounter people who can’t speak the same language as them, I need only to take a small boat ride to France to encounter a totally different primary language.

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Review: Meddling Kids

By Ian Warner


Meddling Kids is, in all but name, the Scooby Doo roleplaying game. The players are cast as a group of kids who solve mysteries with the aid of the Games Master controlled Wild Card which is usually an anthropomorphic animal but can also be a sentient inanimate object. A flying toaster is included as an idea. The game was originally released in 2004 but had a poor critical reception. Recently it has been rereleased in PDF which is how I came to hear about it. My thanks to Pandahead Productions for selling me an original print run hardcopy though. I do hate reading PDFs for anything more than a quick glance. Anyway let us begin with a look at this baby. Continue reading ‘Review: Meddling Kids’ »

Being Assimilated

- Or how to integrate yourself into a roleplaying group

- By Skimble

Many of you will be facing the challenge of becoming a productive member of a new or existing roleplaying group in the coming weeks. This can be a daunting task, especially if you have been used to gaming with people who were already friends up until now. This is doubly true if you are joining a game which which you are not familiar.

So what can you do to make the process easier and more successful? Here are a few tips from my experience.

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Monkey: The Storytelling Game of the Journey to the West

By Ian Warner


To say the Monkey Roleplaying Game was hotly anticipated is something of an understatement. Frequenters of the Mongoose forums will be aware of the 100+ page thread begging for a Monkey Roleplaying Game. Well your request has finally been answered but not by Mongoose. D101 Games is a small outfit much like Postmortem and it is they who have published this long sought after Holy Grail of Roleplaying Games. Something of a coup that is sure to do well for them. Curses! Beaten to it! Ahem…. anyway here is my totally unbiased review of Monkey: The Storytelling Game of the Journey to the West.

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A Kent Requiem Primer (LARP)

By Andrew “Rannos” Moran

Some new players to the Isle of Darkness LARP get lost immediately in the plot. So I think a small Primer is in Order for you all.

What is the Kent Requiem Larp?

The Kent Requiem is a Monthly LARP (Live-Action Role Play)  set in the World of Darkness where 15 – 25 people per month turn up to Keynes on campus on the last Sunday of the month to play characters in a gripping and amazing setting based on “Vampire: the Requiem”, high on Action, Mystery and Intrigue.

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Narrative Conflict

By Skimble

Narrative conflict is an important element in the creation of drama. Since roleplaying games are in the business of telling dramatic stories that involve rich and detailed characters, it is therefore a useful concept to bear in mind when devising plot hooks or resolving the consequences of the players’ actions.

While combat might be the most obvious type of conflict it is by far not the only one that can arise.  In fact I would argue that it is one of the least narratively compelling forms of conflict.

So what are some of the other types of narrative conflict, and how can they be used effectively to tell dramatic, exciting and interesting stories?

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A DM’s Guide to Character Creation

By Andrew Moran AKA Rannos

Character Creation

The best campaigns have the best characters in them, The GM creates the story and the world and moves the plot forward, but the players themselves supply the fun and excitement that will keep them coming back week after week.

So how can a DM help?

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Thinking Outside The Box

By Skimble

Players are well known for coming up with actions the GM could never have anticipated. Give them an innocent-seeming maiden who pleads with them for help in dealing with some kind of heinous monster and they’re just as likely to kill her on the spot due to their suspicion that this is the lure in some kind of cunning trap.

Rather than being something to fear though, this propensity of players is something that can be encouraged and even, sometimes, rewarded.

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Invoking The Tasteful Veil

Or “How much is too much?”

By Skimble

I suspect we’ve all been there. The oversexed, chainmail-bikini-wearing battle maiden uses her wiles to seduce the enemy spy in order to extract from him the relevant secrets even as she uses said wiles in more… physical… pursuits. The GM pauses for a brief moment, looks around the players, takes a deep breath, and has to decide whether or not to invoke The Tasteful Veil.

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By Skimble

People often talk about ‘realism’ in roleplaying as a desirable thing, but in actual fact the quality that they are seeking is verisimilitude. What is it, what is the difference between verisimilitude and realism, and why is it a good thing? Finally, how can it be achieved?

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Failure is the Spice of Life

by Skimble

I was listening to an old episode of the podcast “Fear the Boot” recently (http://www.feartheboot.com) in which the hosts were discussing the concept of character failure and wondering why it is that players don’t allow their characters to fail more often.

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