Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Why Mix RPG Genres?

This month’s theme for the RPG Blogger Carnival is Mixing Genres. This month’s carnival is being hosted by… oh wait… I’m hosting the Carnival this month… damn. I really should have gotten these posts done earlier. This month has been a bit rough for me, but I’m going to plug ahead and try to get at least a few of my thoughts on this subject out there.

One of the first things that I ask myself when I think about mixing genres for a game is: why? Why are you doing this? You’re just going to make things harder on yourself. You have enough to do as it is. Do you really think you can pull it off?? Ok. That’s not exactly what I think about, but the “why?” question is a good one. To be a bit more precise, what you should be asking yourself is: “What effect are you trying to accomplish by mixing two or more genres together?” Basically, I think the reasons for genre mixing are as follows:

Just for Kicks
I really like mixing genres simply for the sake of doing it and having fun. Sometimes mixing two totally different, and wildly opposing genres together can be a total blast and really make for some fun gaming. It might not last very long as a campaign, and the effect of the game might wear off more quickly, but sometimes combining something like the Wild Wild West with Survival Horror can be quite enjoyable and really make for an entertaining game night for the whole group. These quirky, fun games, when pulled off right, can excite your players and generate a barrel of laughs for everyone.

The Unique Factor
Sometimes mixing genres can be something of a quest to find that unique niche to fill for your game. Actually, there are a lot of games that fall into this category that have made it big and are now fairly well known as household names in the RPG world. For example, “Shadowrun”, would fall into this category. “Shadowrun” combines the Cyberpunk world that you get in movies like “Bladerunner” with the Fantasy World of traditional D&D. One runner might be hacking a computer, while another runner might be going feral and hacking robots to bits with an axe. You get the picture. “Shadowrun” found that unique niche and was able to make something awesome out of it.

Combating Boredom with the Gentle Transition
Though this motivation is very similar to the one explained above, the reason the GM, or game creator decides to play this kind of game is very different. Sometimes game groups can get very, very stale. I’ve been playing RPG’s for almost 10 years now and I have seen a lot of groups fall apart because a campaign gets stale and nobody takes the time and effort to fix the problem. When the group gets tired of playing vanilla fantasy, maybe things need to get shaken up a bit. By mixing the fantasy genre, that you’ve been playing in for a long time, with something a bit different, things can change just enough that a game group gets saved without sacrificing the current campaign. Let’s say for example, that group X has been playing D&D 4e for almost 2 years and is getting pretty burned out. Well, looking at some of the game books out there which are compatible with D&D 4e, you find that Amethyst gives you enough rules to work with that you can transition your current campaign from being strict fantasy into something a bit different. With a little deft handling by a skilled GM, the characters can stay the same, but the world, and the plot of the campaign, shifts towards something totally different.

That is my brief take on the reasons to mix RPG Genres. If you have any other reasons of your own, feel free to leave some ideas in the comments. Thanks for sticking around this month!  Also, just a note.  Though I'm keeping the Carnival open for about one more week, just to catch any stragglers (such as myself) the new Carnival will be starting up soonish.  Make sure to give it plenty of attention!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Need inspiration for your Zombie Proof Compound???

Found a link to this in a forum that I happen to troll and I thought it was worth pointing out.  Considering how many survival horror games there are out there, and the popularity of Zombie filled Fantasy RPG plots, these pics might come in handy for some inspiration.  This, is the first Zombie Proof House.

The place has a bloody indoor pool and a drawbridge. The only thing that I see missing is a stairwell that leads to the roof where turret mounted machine guns are mounted.  Also, the property needs a robot that will dig graves and clean corpses because nobody really wants to have their lawn all covered in zombie parts.  It totally ruins the view.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Join the (RPGB)Alliance Today - Help fight the Empire!

If you've been living under a rock, or have been away on vacation, you might not have heard about the RPG Bloggers Alliance.  Founded by some of the guys behind The RPG Circus Podcast, with the help of THE Stargazer himself, the RPGBA aims to be a new community for us all to call our home.  The site features the aggregated feed for all the members on the network (something you got with the RPGBN), but also has a dedicated forum, which has been up and running for quite a while, serving as the forums for the RPG Circus and other sites (including mine :P ).   The site also features a wiki, which is still in development, but which will most likely be up and running in no time at all considering how much support has already been shown for the site in just a week or so.  At the time I'm writing this, there are already 100 members; I'm positive that number will increase very, very soon.  Join the RPGBA and enjoy.  In honor of the RPGBA, I thought I would post some Alliance Recruitment posters from around the web.  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

XDMC 28 - Muster a Constabulary

Do you know what a constabulary is?? If you do, you're going to like this month's Expert Dungeon Master Competition hosted over on the Wizards of the Coast forums.  This month's topic is:


Here's the starter post that kicks off the competition this month.

The topic for this competition is Constabulary. Player characters often work outside the law, but are also generally trying to uphold the law. This can place them into a strained, yet dramatic and often entertaining, relationship with the local government. You must design a constabulary that is charged with enforcing the law in a population center who will interact with the player characters in entertaining and memorable fashions.
Required Elements
In order to enter this competition, your entry must fulfill the following required elements:
Name: Name your entry.
Constablewick: Describe the area in which the constablulary has jurisdiction.
Leadership: Describe the individuals in charge of the constabulary. You may, but need not, include stat blocks for these individuals.
Roster: Describe the composition and organization of the constabulary. You may, but need not, include stat blocks for these individuals.
Friend and Foe: Describe at least one encounter in which the constabulary might support the player characters and at least one encounter in which the constabulary may oppose the player characters.
Optional Elements
Your story must include at least three of the following optional elements:
Bigoted: The constabulary either favors or disfavors one specific faith, race or culture.
Disreputable: The constabulary has a poor reputation in the constablewick, whether deserved or undeserved.
Elite: The constabulary acts only when the constablewick needs its specialized expertise.
Inhuman: No member of the constabulary is humanoid.
Insubordinate: The constabulary directly or indirectly supports an agenda opposed by the entity it ostensibly serves.
Military: The constabulary also serves as the constablewick's military.
Nongovernmental: The constabulary does not work for the government, but rather (i) for coin, (ii) for a guild, (iii) for a church, and/or (iv) as a vigilante organization.
Police State: The constabulary controls the entity it ostensibly serves.
Rural: At least one of the encounters does not occur in an urban setting.
Secret Police: The entity the constabulary ostensibly serves does not officially sanction or recognize it.
Voluntary: Those members of the constabulary who are not in leadership positions receive no remuneration for their participation.
List the optional elements you intend to include. If you do not, the judges will credit you only for the optional elements they happen to notice.

You can read the rest of the rules, etc. in the forum thread itself.  The deadline for this one is midnight on the 10th of June.  That's coming up pretty quick!

Sounds pretty fun right?  I am excited for this one and will probably put together an entry.  A couple people, myself included, have already talked about rolling up some of the more famous Constabularies out there... Batman, The Doctor, etc.  Give it a try and see how you do.  This competition always proves to be a great place to hone your writing skills.  It's worth the effort.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

RPG Blogger Carnival - Time is running out for mixing genres!

Well, there is not much left of the month of May, so I want to make sure that people who are interested in writing about mixing Genres for the Carnival this month get there stuff posted.  I have been working on a few posts myself, which will probably come out right at the end of the month; it's been a pretty busy month for me, so not much posting has been happening.  I'll probably do the wrap-up a week or so into June.  Hoping that people do some more awesome posts by then.  There have already been a bunch of great ones so far.  Check out the announcement post and the comments and you'll see a pretty good selection of them.

Caladon Falls - Fundraising Project!

I was alerted earlier today about this little fundraising project on twitter and I thought I would do what I could to help out.  Savage Mojo is trying to get their setting book, for the Savage World's RPG printed and ready for Gen Con 2011!  They need your help and have set up a fundraising project to try and meet some of the financial needs.  I should make it pretty clear, I have never actually played a game of Savage Worlds.  I would very much like to give it a try at some point, but for now, I am left waiting.  I have however gotten a chance to look at this book, in PDF form, and I can tell you that it is 150 pages of pretty awesome stuff.  I haven't had a chance to give it a full read yet, and there is a lot of rules specific stuff that I don't quite understand (given my lack of Savage Worlds rules knowledge) but the setting itself seems to be made of awesome and I can totally see myself playing a game or three (or four... or many more) in this setting.

Currently, they are about one third of the way into their $7500 goal with only about 11 days left on the clock.  Time's ticking.  Here's some more info regarding the project and what they are aiming to accomplish with this fundraising effort.

Our Story
Caladon Falls is Savage Mojo’s first foray into fantasy setting books designed for Savage Suzerain, using Pinnacle's award-winning Savage Worlds rules. Kicked off in November as a PDF, we’ve been asked repeatedly when it will be in print. With your help, we’d like to answer that with, “Before Gen Con 2011!”
As the trailer shows, there are a lot of people who have worked their hearts out to produce a top-notch, high-art, high-quality roleplaying game (RPG) book packed with stunning visuals, intriguing plots, and inventive prose. Caladon Falls is brought to you by names you’ll know and those we hope will become some of your new favorites. And every one of us wants you to experience Caladon Falls the most complete way possible: by owning it for yourself – in print.
The Impact
Funds raised through this campaign go toward the production costs of a 750 book, limited edition print-run for Caladon Falls in its full glory. Each book is hard cover containing full-color interiors on high-quality paper. Those who choose to support us at qualifying tiers will get a copy shipped to them along with any other goodies at their chosen tier. Your generosity will help us gain the ability to put additional books on retailers’ shelves for others to access, increasing awareness of our company and introducing more gamers to the Suzerain Universe. If we do not meet our full goal, the funds will still be used to provide the perks promised and put some copies on our convention tables by way of an alternative printing plan.
What We Need & What You Get
We have twelve tiers to enable you to help as you wish. Every sponsor matters and every increment helps! From $1 to simply be remembered as helping to $39 to get not just the physical book, but also the accompanying PDFs of both the full GM's book and the player's guide to our super-crazy, $549 Patron of Suzerain tier with so much stuff you won't believe we're offering it. Printed Gamescapes maps, custom character sheets, short stories dedicated to you, and so much more are available just because you want to help us reach our goals.

It definitely seems like a worthy cause to me.  Try to do what you can! I'm sure they will appreciate it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The New Dump Stat Logo's... They'll do for now...

Now that the RPGBA has come along, I think it's finally time I give myself a logo.  This is really just a place holder until I can get something better together, but I like the concept at least.

Not bad right?  What do you think???

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Amethyst Evolutions - My first look at something awesome

Chris Dias, of Dias Ex Machina, was nice enough to send me an advanced copy of one of the chapters from the upcoming Amethyst Evolutions.  I can't exactly show off the chapter itself, but he did give me permission to talk about it.  I have not yet had time enough to print the chapter out, lay on the floor, and then play in all the pages, but that is pretty much the extent of how amazing the chapter was.  Chapter 2 of the book brings several new interpretations of the older races, some new races (including the Kodiaks, which I showed off in one of my earlier sneak peak photos from the book) as well as the thing that I wanted the most... ORGANIZATIONS.  I thought the organizations in the first book were awesome, but I wanted more.  These are awesome as well, and I STILL WANT MORE!!!  I think I might have to beg Chris to do a book full of just organizations at some point.  It's like giving your adventuring group a nice big club to be a part of.  If you hadn't seen the cover to the book yet, it has been up on the Dias Ex Machina site since the end of March, but I haven't had a chance to throw it up here on the site yet.  He said they are getting pretty close to completing it, so I am very much looking forward to reviewing it and bringing you all of the juicy Amethyst details when they finally come out.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

One Page Dungeon Contest 2011 Ends. Winners Announced!

As much as I would have liked to be among the chosen few, considering it was my first attempt, I didn't really think it would happen.  This is my way of leading into the fact that the 2011 One Page Dungeon Contest Results Have been posted.  I was unfortunately not chosen to be among the top few.  However, among the winners, Dyson Logos (a friend of the blog) picked up the Best Old-School Dungeon Award! Congrats.

If you want to check out the full list of all the winners, or download the complete list for yourself, head over to the One Page Dungeon Contest website and give all the entries a look.  Might want to just give mine a look see while you are there as well.  ;)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

L5R Art Contest - Week 4

This last piece of the contest is probably my favorite one and among my favorite piece overall actually.
Once again back stories could be many, so how about a Ronin assassin on on the look out for is quarry? He lost his Katana at the same time as his honor and family, and has now become a expert at the short sword technique, relying on his Wakisahi for his kills.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


As some of you know, I've been out sick pretty badly for the last few weeks, so it has put me out of blogging condition and away from the keyboard, but now that I'm gradually on the bend, I thought I would take the time to at least start off the May RPG Blogger Carnival which this month is being hosted by none other than yours truly here at The Dump Stat!

The topic for this month's carnival is genre mixing.  Genre mixing in RPG's is the process of taking two or more genres of game and mixing them together.  This month, I want to hear about your experiences mixing RPG Genres together and how that experience turned out.

For example, you could mix the Super Hero Genre with the Fantasy Genre and come out with something really, really cool.  Maybe you want to mix Steampunk and Horror, or Comedy.  Whatever.  I want to hear about your experiences mixing different genres together.  If you have tips or advice feel free to post as well!  Make sure to leave a comment linking to your posts here on the kickoff post so that I can find them easier! Take care all and happy blogging.