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    • By Nightwing
      Here are 4 twisted wire trees I made. Three of them use moss from a craft store package, one used Woodland Scenics foliage. They all use Vallejo Earth Texture, Woodland Scenics scrubery, and Army Painter Lowland Shrubs. 
       
       




       
      Here is is an average wizard under a tree for size reference: 
       

    • By Boaz
      What makes a good table top war game ... model count, system complexity, special characters, great background fluff, core rules ... what really makes one system more fun to play than another ?
       
       I have noticed several folks are working on a system as finding one that is 'just right' is almost impossible and if you do its tied to a model line you don't have ... I'm one of the folks working on a game system but I'm aiming for model independence ... a solid system that is not tied to any model line but open to use with any force you like ... I just want a good game I can bring any army I want to, and stll have a fair and balanced game with others bringing any army they like ... 
       
       Most of the open army systems I have looked at are too light or over regulated and most don't have a viable point system ... a solid point system might never be perfect but it's the only viable medium for pick up games and turnament play in an open army game system , so I'm starting with ...
       
       A universal point system, based on force type templates.
       
       1d10 based for all randome resolution.
       
       Smooth and straight forward game mechanics , with some special rules but keeping the system simple / fast is a primary goal.
       
      Looking for player preferences,  likes/ dislikes , why one system stands out over others, what worked well and what just never seemed to get it right or seemed sooo wrong ... for all of us poking around at what could be ...
    • By MojoBob
      This is my latest terrain piece for my tabletop games, a small gorge. It's about 300 x 150 mm, and at its deepest the gorge is about 30 mm deep.

      It's not wide enough for vehicles in any scale larger than 6mm or 10-12mm. Maybe a jeep in 15mm, certainly nothing larger. There's just enough of a bend in it that you can't see right through from end to end.

      I suspect that the rock formations would make geologists clench their fists and grind their teeth, but fortunately, I'm not a geologist.
       

       

       

       

    • By Rob Dean
      So here's my final for this unexpected snow day.  Three stands go to the Dux Bellorum project, which I hope to play with this weekend, and the two on the right are part of the vintage Minifigs Middle Earth war bands  project.  As the Soviets are supposed to have said, quantity has a quality of its own...
       

    • By Dr.Bedlam
      I have a question for you, if you're interested, and if you're willing to answer it. You can read my rambling explanation, or just skip to the picture of the d20 below if I'm boring you.

      So I've been reading some blogs, blogs of Big Time Game Writers and Designers, right? I like to keep up on the history of the hobby, even while it's happening.

      And I have discovered a thing: The Older Cousin Model.

      Y'see, ever since D&D really started to hit the big time, the marketing people have been trying to figure out new ways to grow the game, grow the market, sell more units. It's what they do. Particularly under WotC, and ESPECIALLY with Hasbro. And they discovered an unusual thing.

      Roleplaying games aren't like other games. A child sees a Star Wars Rebels boardgame, he's attracted to it because of the cartoon show, but if he's going to play the GAME, he has to sit down, read the rules, figure out how it works. If I find a Game Of Thrones card game, I do the same thing, although it's a safe bet the rules are lengthier and more complex. But the same is true of both myself and the Star Wars child: we see the game, get interested in the subject or license, buy or are given this game, we sit down and figure it out, and try to interest our friends in playing it with us. Sometimes Star Wars kid will play the game at his friend's house first, but like as not, he'll see it on a shelf and want it, without ever having played it before.
       
      ....................but not RPGs.
       
      Apparently, based on market research? Nearly all RPG players are taught to play by an actual human, THEN start jonesing for their own copy of the game. They have to catch the fever from existing RPG players before developing an interest in the hobby form. Apparently, AFTER you've mastered an RPG, THEN you might develop an interest in other RPGs or RPG genres, and you might, upon mastering D&D, get interested in one of Fantasy Flight's Star Wars RPGs, or a White Wolf LARP, or even just Pathfinder or Starfinder, and you might buy a copy, read the rules, and start your own game...

      ...but statistically, MOST of us apparently started out as acolytes at someone else's table.
       


      They call it "The Older Cousin Model," in that most of us learned it from an older cousin, a sibling, kid we went to school with, whatever. The point is that most of us were TAUGHT, as opposed to doping it out ourselves. It's a social phenomenon as opposed to seeing it on a shelf or in an ad, and that apparently complicates the marketing of the product.

      And that got my attention.

      Y'see, I doped it out myself.

      I was all of like, eleven, and reading this magazine, Rolling Stone's College Life, because, hey, college was far cooler than anything MY peer group was doing, right? And there was this article on this game that was sweeping the country's college campuses at the time, Dungeons and Dragons, where you could take the role of a barbarian or wizard, go slay dragons, become more powerful, have a magic sword, accumulate gold, build a castle... anything you wanted. The nerd equivalent of a permanent floating craps game in the dorm's TV room. It caught my interest, and the next time my immediate ancestors chose to visit civilization, I picked up a Holmes Basic Set at Spencer's Gifts... and there, all my weirdities began. Upon learning how to play the game, and finding others who were interested, everything else followed. Cool college guys used miniatures? Plainly, miniatures must be obtained... and painted. Some of these people play other games by SPI and Avalon Hill? Hm, this should be looked into. Hey, other RPGs like Traveller and Runequest? Investigate!
       
      But I had to work it out myself. I taught some friends to play afterwards, and the game took on a life of its own after that... but I was the one who lit the fire.

      Upon thinking about it? Everyone else I ever played RPGs with? Either I taught them, or they already knew... having been introduced to the hobby by a friend or relative. Apparently, being a gamer is more a contagious paradigm than one imposed by one's environment or advertising.

       ...and this is what brings me to come bother YOU people. How did you get involved in RPGs? How did you learn to play? How did you develop the interest?

      Was there an older cousin, sibling, friend, role model? Were you influenced by marketing or advertising? Trip over it at a comic shop? Encounter a screaming mob of beardos, flinging dice and invective at each other?

      I'd like to know.
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