Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Jakob last won the day on November 22 2016

Jakob had the most liked content!


  • RPG Biography
    Been a writer for German Edition of CoC; played lots of RPGs since 1984. Co-owner of fantasy bookshop Otherland in Berlin, where we hold monthly RPG nights.
  • Current games
    RuneQuest - Adventures in Glorantha; Dungeon Crawl Classics - Peril on the Purple Planet
  • Location
    Berlin, Germany
  • Blurb
    Loves reading new rules, hates learning them!

Contact Methods

  • Website URL

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

Jakob's Achievements


Participant (2/4)



  1. Die ausführlichere Antwort: Hängt ein bisschen davon ab, wie dicht du die Neuen Reiche an die Jungen Königreiche anlehnen willst. Das Abenteuer hat keine "tolkienesken" Elemente (also keine Elfen, Zwerge, Orks, Goblins) usw., alle auftauchenden Geschöpfe passen auch gut in die Elric-Kosmologie, und auch die Schauplätze wären nicht fehl am Platz. Wenn du aber SEHR dicht an den jungen Königreichen bleiben willst, gibt es ein kleines (aber auch nicht unlösbares) Problem:
  2. Most recently, I've come across this approach in the Mothership-based RPG Cloud engine (which is a very rules light d100 game, BRPish, but even more inspired by old editions of Warhammer, if I'm not mistaken). There, every NPC just has one percentile statt called Instinct - they roll it for everything that they might have some degree of competence in, if they should be forced to do anything that wouldn't be part of their skillset, it's GM fiat. For a super-light RPG light Cloud Empress, I think it works really fine (though I haven't tried it at the table yet, only did some cursory solo-gaming). I'd be finde to use it in other BRP games as well for minor NPCs. If you want to get fancy, maybe give them a specialty at +20 (Viking 45%, Drinking +20), or a passion at +20 (Viking 45%, protecting his little brother +20).
  3. Wow, that sounds kind of ... perfect. Especially the "burning characteristics" thing - I just kind of came up with that idea myself (though I'm certainly not the first one ) and would love to see it implemented in a BRP game!
  4. I know I shouldn't be impatient ... but isn't it time for something official on the chaosium website? There must be a cover by now, right?
  5. Let me add to the "furries" derailment of this thread - I'm also not that fond of furries in sf; to me, they feel like "convenient fantasies"; we are used to thinking of wolfes, dogs, cats, bears and mice in an anthropomorphic way, anyway. We're used to ascribing them human characteristics, to interpret their behaviour as an expression of things that we think and feel, as well. We often associate them with positive character traits or with traits that just seem kind of cool. We often feel that we have a relationship to them that is similar to our relationship to humans, anyway, so further humanizing them is a trivial effort. Therefore, I have a hard time accepting them as "alien" (even though all these animals, in reality, are probably a LOT more alien to us then we think). They feel too familiar, to relatable. I have a much easier time accepting insect-, reptile-, arthropod- or octupus-like aliens. It's not that it is much more likely that those would exist than furries - it's just that while playing a reptile-creature, I have a much easier time feeling that I'm playing something that is quite definitely not-human than while playing a cat-creature (which ends up just being a more badass type of human).
  6. Jakob


    Maybe you're thinking of Haunted West, which has its own bespoke BRP-ish d100 system? There's a similar rule there, though it kind of works the other way round: It lets you send additional succes levels (called Jacks) that you don't need in the current situation down the river to use them as a bonus to a differnt skill later. The catch is that a. you can only use them on a different skill later, and b. you need to make a connection between the skill that gave you the jacks and the skill that you are using them on ("I'm a surgeon, I know where to shoot him so that it hurts!"). It's a pretty cool and pulpy mechanism, because you don't get that feeling of wasting a great success on a less than important roll; you get to use these jacks to shine later, and probably in an unexpected way.
  7. @DreadDomain Veering a little further off topic, I'd be curious to know what you thing about the 3D20 skill test of DSA5. It's been a part of DSA/TDE since 1988 (2nd Edition), though not from the beginning, and there are kind of two schools of thought about it in Germany: One is that it was a harebrained idea from people who had no clue about game design, but that somehow stuck; the other is that in terms of rules, it's the core of the identity of DSA/TDE and must not be touched, ever. Of course, both might be true. It's just that it is something that is hated/loved to an extreme degree by the German rpg community. As for myself, I played years with 3D20 skill tests and kind of liked that each skill test had it's own little dramatic arc (Yay, I made Courage - oh no, but I failed Strength by 6 and have only 4 Skill points left!) - but it could get real tiresome as soon as you had to roll a few tests in a row ...
  8. The first edition and the early adventures for The Dark Eye really felt a lot like Dragonbane - back then, it was Elves and Dwarves and Goblins and whatever weird idea the author of the adventure you were currently playing happened to come up with; there was a lot of silliness and obviously, no one cared too much about the world as anything more than an extremely vague backdrop for fantasy adventures. With the second edition (beginning in 1988), they started thinking about how to make the continent of Aventurien a more consistent setting; they also started to publish a monthly in-world newspaper ourlining poltical events in Aventurien, which was the igniting spark of the living history of the setting - for a long time, every real-world year, the history of Aventurien advanced two years (later they started to advance its history only one year every real-world year, because obviously, none of the players could keep up). You would get adventures that tied into that history, so if you wanted to play in canonical Aventurien, you had to think about which adventures came before or after others. That's also when a lot of these scenarios became very railroady, to make sure that the characters wouldn't mess with the highly detailed history. In the mid-nineties, halfway through the third edition, they started their big campaign about the return of the most powerful dark sorcerer of all, and from then on, they really went a little bit overboard both with the detailed setting as well as with how much they kept changing the setting. Back then, we we're playing TDE once or twice a week, and still we just couldn't keep up with the official events. After that, there came the fourth edition, which kind of settled on a new status quo for the setting, but now the REALLY went overboard both with the rules (more than 1000 pages - I played a knight, and fighthing from horseback was four tightly packed pages of rules that interacted with all kinds of other rules - frankly, it was a nightmare. I prepared myself days for a big battle where I finally wanted my character to fight from horseback RAW, and everyone was just groaning when we went through with it, including me ...) AND with the setting description - there were 16 setting supplements, most of which came in at about 200 pages, so there was about 3000 pages of setting description (and these were pure setting descriptions, with no adventures and often preciously little material that was actually useful for adventures - though some of them were brillant explorations of historically inspired fantasy cultures, including their food, their clothes, their languages, their religion and the exact population of most of the villages). At that point, TDE had very much become about the excessively detailed description of a setting that STILL kept changing all the time (so if you really wanted to get what was going on, you'd also have to keep up with current adventures AND, at times, search out older material), which finally made me give up on the gaming world I had invested most of my passion in for 15 years. It was simply overwhelming. I think the current fifth edition dialed all of this excesses back to a certain degree, and maybe the "old" TDE, that was very much about going on adventures in a relatively down-to-earth fantasy world that still had room for occassional craziness and silliness shines through again ... for me, it's all weighed down by decades of heavily detailed Aventurian history. I don't want to belittle the achievement of the 3rd and 4th edition: The overall consistency and quality of the setting material was really impressive. It was just too much to be of any use. On a sidenote: Uhrwerk Verlag, the German publisher of Dragonbane, has just announced that they are going to publish a licensed regional sourcebook that will allow you to play in the world of TDE with the rules of Dragonbane. So I guess I'm not the only one who sees a connection there ...
  9. Well, your main goal might very well be "not get killed" rather than "kill the other guy". And fighting defensively only means defending when your opponent actually lands a hit - when s/he misses, you get your opportunity to attack (and if they attacked first and missed, they can't defend!). So really, I don't get it and I haven't experienced in the one-shot I've run, where characters tended to act defensively due to generally low Hit Points. They still managed to win to fights. Also, there's usually a lot of context in combat besides to opponents just taking their turn attacking and defending. EDIT: Actually, I guess I'll just have to accept that I don't get the problem - when you're talking past one another because the other person seems to claim something that fundamentally doesn't make sense to you, it's usually because somewhere down the line, there is a difference in core assumptions that you're not aware of. So I guess we'd have to dive deep into a discussion about assumptions about how combat works in RPGs, about the readiness to employ seemingly or objectively sub-optimal strategies and all that kind of things. without that, I'm at a loss.
  10. Reading Rivers of London, I felt like its take on BRP would make for a really good introductory game - skills are simplified, SIZ has been omitted (which is an attribute that always seems to confuse people, including me), and a lot of the little bits that usually come with BRP are turned into options that players can/have to choose for their characters (like Damage Bonus). I haven't tried the system yet, but the crunch parts of RoL really read like a very solid BRP light with some modern bits attached - which is exactly how Dragonbane feels, though it goes in a different direction. I know that it has been stated a dozen times that Chaosium has made the experience that "generic fantasy RPG's don't sell; we need a great and original setting attached to our RPGs", and I absolutely believe them. But I also think that, based on it being an interesting new take on BRP, a RoL-based generic fantasy RPG might attract a lot of interest. Or otherwise, a cool new introductory level fantasy RPG based on RoL with an original setting attached (maybe something more city-based, with a more early modern flair?). I know that Chaosium doesn't want to give Magic World or something similar another try, and I get why - but there are other options to try things a little more streamlined and modernised with BRP, as RoL proves. Apart from that, I'm really looking forward to Lords of the Middle-Sea to scratch my Stormbringer low-crunch BRP nostalgia itch!
  11. To be honest, I don't get it. Isn't that the case in any RPG where you roll to defend (or attack)? If you take that option and failed your roll, you gain nothing. So you could just as well say that attacking is a losing strategy because you gain nothing if you fail your roll. In the end, I don't see that much of a difference to any RPG with an action economy where defending is a meaningful choice in terms of how much you can do in a round - in RuneQuest 2/7, you lose Strike Ranks parrying, in Mythras, you lose an action point. When you're out of strike ranks/action points for that round, are you just standing still doing nothing when someone attacks you? Of course not. The attack roll assumes that the other side is trying to not get hit - otherwise, there would be no roll necessary. Maybe it makes more sense if you consider a Dragonbane round half a "standard" round, where both sides get the "usual" two main actions but can choose to convert their attack into a defense or their defense into an attack at any time? The result would basically be the same, just with less rules overhead.
  12. I‘m actually very happy with that action economy, because it achieves a few things that other games sometimes try to do with extra rules. Basically, in 1-1 combat, having the initiative and being on the attack means that you have the forward momentum; as long as you succeed with your attacks, you practically force your opponent to stay defensive. However, your opponent always has the option to suck it up and instead use their action for a counterattack, hopefully gaining the forward momentum by suceeding and forcing you into the defender‘s position; and also, as soon as you miss an attack, your opponent has their opening. I think it‘s pretty cool making defending a meaningful decision in that it actually puts you on the defense. It can also make armor pretty important, because if you‘re heavily armed, sucking up that one hit to get one in on your opponent becomes a much more viable option. It also means that you don‘t have to come up with extra rules for fighting offensively or defensively; both are options that arise organically from the system. What I feel is a bit lacking is the magic. There‘s a lot of spells that are basically just upgrades of lower-level skills; I‘m just not that big a fan of learning „some kind of magical fire attack“ three times just to get more damage or the option to affect multiple targets; I would prefer a more flexible system that allows you to tweak and upgrade spells. And honestly, if you‘re going the „Heal I, Heal II, Heal III“ route, you could just as well just number the spells like that to make it transparent; if two spells are essentially the same, they should be called the same. However, the latter is just a reading impression – as it has more to do with character progression, in the one-shot I have GMed yet, this naturally hasn‘t come up as a problem. I guess more spells for variety and maybe the option to „upgrade“ your spells more easily to the next more powerful variant would solve it.
  13. I love Dragonbane as well ... have played only one one-shot, but that went beautifully. Funnily enough, it feels a lot like a cleaned-up, slightly modernized version of the first edition of Das schwarze Auge, which was (is, in it's fifth edition) the most succesful German rpg. I think it was also influenced by RQ, though it felt more like a mix of RQ and D&D.
  14. This actually sounds fantastic - it's a little off-topic, but I could actually imagine that having three pools of this kind covering all skills could be used: Charisma for social interaction, Willpower for everything that requires just pushing through, and Concentration for mental tasks. All would be limited ressources, and all would make clear that you would have failed weren't it for your natural magnetism, your wheer doggedness or your ability to concentrate.
  15. The way I see it, "Easy" is the stuff you normally wouldn't roll for, except for cases were a failure, though unlikely, might result in something particularly interesting and/or dangerous. If everything hinges on being able to convince a dim-witted guard that yes, you obviously ARE invited to the wedding, you just left your invitation at home, that should be easy, but if you fail, it might change the whole adventure from a social challenge to an infiltration. And yes, I usually reserve penalties for stuff that is really damn hard. A normal roll already means it is a significant challenge, as far as I am concerned.
  • Create New...