Geek and Sundry

 

Geek and Sundry

Building a Random Encounter with a Centaur, Tribal Warrior, and Druidcraft

Apr 22 2019

Game Masters Hall is our series to where different storytellers share their experiences and discuss various topics revolving around the art of being a Game Master.

The Deck of Many is a tool used to assist Game Masters in their role-playing campaigns. Last time, we covered a random encounter that could be generated from pulling cards from their decks. They’ve come a long way since their first Kickstarter campaign (re: Humblewood), and they’ve even got a solid Patreon page that is based off a per-creation donation.

Thanks to advances in SCIENCE they’ve actually animated frame looping spell cards. It’s based off spell cards that we will design our next random encounter!

AcidSplash

 

Taking one card from the Monsters, Animated Spell, and NPC deck each, we are going to build a random encounter. To our luck today, we’ve drawn a Centaur, Tribal Warrior, and a Druidcraft. With a group of players ready and at the waiting, it’s now our job to improvise a sidequest on the fly. Since every story begins with a hook that can be summed up in a single sentence, here’s mine:

Need spell components? We need a hand…

Ride By Centauring

GMH Encounter 2

Spell components can be as important as you need them in your campaign. As a classic McGuffin, a spellcaster’s power can be reduced by getting granular by remembering every root or component required. For the party characters, it’s not memorable or that fun to always keep track of every monster giblet they need, but for NPC’s it’s the perfect showcase. A local wizarding academy that teaches first-year students has had their shipments of herbs completely dry up. They outsource the purchase of these herbs to a local tribal warrior Xaxti, who handles foraging and cultivation of the plants for a living.

Xaxti has a unique problem on his hands. Centaurs keep stealing the blasted herbs ahead of their schedule. They’re not combative and run away after being spotted, but every time Xaxti plants or locates more herbs, the Centaurs harvest them faster than him. The secret is Druidcraft. The Centaurs are racing into Xaxti’s camp and using Druidcraft to force the harvest early; steal the precious herbs, and then race off into the sunset to sell them elsewhere. Jerks.

The party can either ambush the Centaurs, try to reason with them, or even use Druidcraft themselves to one-up the crafty creatures. The Centaurs have every motivation of their own to keep Xaxti from growing, harvesting, or even finding these plants—they’ve got grand designs of selling the herbs back at double the price.

How would this encounter play out with your group? Let us know in the comments below!

This post is sponsored by The Deck of Many.

MORE RPG GOODNESS

Featured Image by: The Deck of Many

Rick Heinz is the author of The Seventh Age Series, Dread Adventures, and a storyteller with a focus on D&D For Kids, Wraith: The Oblivion, Eclipse Phase, and an overdose of LARPs. You can follow the game or urban fantasy related thingies on Twitter or Facebook or reach out for writing at 7thAgeSeries@gmail.com

WATCH: Kevin Smith in The Case of the Black Onyx – Part 1 | Relics and Rarities | Episode 5, Part 1

Apr 22 2019

After a harrowing experience in King Senna’s Tomb and almost losing Rikki, the team receives new info from Professor Roundland. Rumor has it fresh clues to the sisters’ nefarious plans lie right here in the town of Bellbrook! She teams them up with Tiefling Warlock Private Detective Sam, who knows these streets like the back of his hand.

 

Set in a mysterious curio shop, creator Deborah Ann Woll brings a unique twist to the world of Dungeons & Dragons with gripping storytelling and arcane objects. Join Woll and a party of special guests each week as they face her puzzles and challenges!

Want more Relics and Rarities?
Meet the guests of Relics and Rarities!
Reflect with Kevin Smith on his Relics experience
Take a look at our Relics heroes!

WATCH: Matthew Mercer & Friends on Making Your Gaming Hobby a Career | Roundtable | Season 1, Episode 6

Apr 22 2019

Immersive storytelling has the power to transport you to a whole new world, all from the comfort of your table and chair. This storytelling, however, requires storytellers. Therefore, we’ve gathered some of the most notable masters of storytelling for discussion on the craft and passion of worldbuilding. Join Ivan Van Norman, Satine Phoenix, and Matthew Mercer to learn and master your own craft, at the Roundtable.

 

Secrets from VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE’S Clan Tremere

Apr 19 2019

Twenty-seven years ago Vampire: The Masquerade was released in 1991, and it’s been through a few iterations thus far along its journey. Our RPG show, Vampire: The Masquerade – L.A. By Night is diving into the Vampire: The Masquerade’s Fifth Edition and the World Of Darkness it resides in. If you’re as excited about it as we are, but aren’t familiar with the universe, here’s a crash course get you up to speed.

In the show L.A. By Night, no main-cast character is playing Clan Tremere, which probably marks this show as a rare gem among Vampire games. Clan Tremere has been a staple, and highly popular (also hated) clan since they were first released. Their draw was simple: they had magic. The versatility of their magic meant they grew infinitely more powerful than other clans the longer the game had run. With all the balancing finesse of D&D 3.0, it often sparked jokes among players on why, or how, this clan simply never ruled the entire world. Their mechanical versatility and power aside, Clan Tremere was one of the *best* written clans in the history of Vampire. The clan allowed authors to explore the nature of magic and myth from cultures all across the world, bringing light to an incredibly diverse mythos.

When you combine an entire world’s history of occultism and then add a unified clan with a political agenda—it is an easy sell. I differ from many VtM storyteller’s in that I often recommend Clan Tremere as one of the best starting clans for new players. The ability to make your character unique, add flavor and magical styling, and have clan support is a perfect home for players lost in the World of Darkness. With new players (and curious) players in mind, here’s a primer on the state of Clan Tremere in V5!

The Power Of The Pyramid

VTM Relation Image 2

Vienna; capital of Austria, the city of music, and home to the impenetrable magical chantry of Clan Tremere. The Prime Chantry has served as the personal home for the founders of the clan for centuries. Warlocks concentrated their power with magical wards, gargoyle minions, and libraries upon libraries of artifacts and ancient grimoires from around the world. Within the clan, characters both revered, and feared the Prime Chantry—being sent back meant either secret training or the removal of your character. From this spot, seven more chantries fed into, and from there seven more each, and seven more to each of them… outward into the world until Clan Tremere would reach a magical number of vampires to rule.

Then 2008 happened. In a massive attack by the Second Inquisition, the Prime Chantry was decimated and the Tremere leadership with it. This assault is the defining moment for the entire setting of Vampires 5th edition. The Second Inquisition hobbled the most powerful clan in the entire setting and covered it up with a terrorist strike. Now, with a vacuum of power to fill, every clan Tremere character has a chance to scale the Pyramid and achieve their own destiny. Yet how did a group of mortal hunters and government humans ever take down a chantry that has withstood assault for centuries? The most popular theory is that they didn’t. Ever the clan of conspirators, it makes perfect sense for Clan Tremere to feign a strike and appear weakened…

What’s In A Warlock

Now more than ever, the “Mercenary Warlocks” of V5, practice their magic and hunt for mysterious lore in an eternal search for answers. With the leadership gone missing, any sense of cohesive guidance is tenuous at best, and characters are free to pursue their own agenda. Before they were vampires, most members of Clan Tremere dabbled in the occult—from Tarot to Tea reading to garden variety witchcraft. Once they pledge their eternal loyalty to the clan, they are given real magical power. Cursing their enemies to igniting their foes on fire with a snap becomes childsplay eventually, but where did this power come from?

In the 18th century, the founders of Clan Tremere were Mages from the Order of Hermes. A group of will-workers who had the power to bend reality to their whim. Tremere himself (a tad egotistical individual who named his entire house after him), started to age and fear death. Despite having lived for a few centuries already with alchemy potions and elixirs of life, magic could only take them so far—they needed a permanent fix. They hunted across Europe and found a clan of evil, soul-sucking infernalist (re: demon worshipping) vampires called Clan Salubri and decided to steal their immortality. In a great ritual, Clan Tremere tried to rid the world of the evil vampires and extend their lives and it worked! Kinda.

Vampire Tremere Salubri

In a last laugh, the demonic clan Salubri ensured the Tremere were all bound by the Curse of Vampirism and lost their reality-bending magic. It has been only through sheer noble determination that Clan Tremere has overcome the curse and work a new form of blood based magic called Thaumaturgy.

Lore-Sheets

Vampire Tremere

Clan Tremere can fall into multiple Lore-Sheets, but one that highlights the drastic changes of V5 to the clan is Carna. This is an ironic twist of fate considering over a decade Clan Tremere kept every bit of magic for themselves. Instead the Anarch Tremere underneath Carna welcome all into their ranks and attempt to push the clan to become more modern. Some Tremere call them rebels, making Carna’s followers usurpers in a clan of usurpers, but they also represent the very ingenuity of the clan.

Followers of House Carna may find themselves hunted by the Tremere Clan old guard, but gain crazy abilities to circumvent their clans Bane or ignore Blood Bonds of other Vampires. Thanks new methods of looking at old rituals, House Carna can pull off some Unorthodox Rituals and cast magic without spending their precious Vitae. Even the slightest hint that it is possible to earn back a sliver of their long lost lineages means that House Carna might just be onto something. Plus Clan Brujah can join it! (Descendents of the Karl Shreck classic Lore-Sheet may have a problem with this…)

By practicing their magic in unorthodox ways and welcoming diversity into their ranks they’ve found strength

What clan of Vampire: The Masquerade do you identify with? Tell us in the comments below!

More Vampire: The Masquerade Gaming goodness!

Image Credits: Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition

Rick Heinz is the author of The Seventh Age: Dawn, and a storyteller with a focus on LARPs, Wraith: The Oblivion, Eclipse Phase, and many more. You can follow game or urban fantasy related thingies on Twitter or Facebook.

Pull an All-Nighter With This Unusual Dungeon Crawler

Apr 19 2019

Ludus Magnus Studio wants to take you back to school. No, wait, don’t leave yet! Trust us, this is no normal university.

In Dungeonology, the unusual dungeon crawler tabletop game now on Kickstarter, it’s monsters and their habitats you’ll be (stealthily) studying. Take on the role of a scholar at the University of Rocca Civetta and outsmart your classmates to submit a thesis worthy of a hero. Succeed, and you’ll be the next renowned professor at the esteemed institution.

dungeonology-1

Dungeonology: the expedition is a strategy game for 2-4 players, ages 14 and up. Players, called Scholars, are on a mission to gather information about the clans of creatures in nearby dungeons. The local fauna isn’t friendly, however, so Scholars will have to use all of their smarts to grab the info they need and get out safely. And watch out—there are surprises in store for Scholars who wander in unprepared for what’s lurking in the darkness.

The game takes place in the Renaissance world of Nova Aetas, which is brimming with magic and danger, setting the perfect stage for an adventure. On each turn, players will lay down a colorful dungeon tile to explore the darkness and whatever hides within.

dungeonology-2

Each Scholar has their own special ability for gameplay. Choose one and the expedition begins. Your fellow Scholars and their teams of students are competing against you for the vaunted professor position, so not only are they trying to prepare their thesis faster than you can, they’ll do whatever it takes to interfere with yours.

And that’s just the tip of the dungeon! Be sure to tune into How to Play with Becca Scott for a walkthrough of the game rules and how a typical session of the dungeon crawler will play.

dungeonology-board

With an ever-growing maze of dungeons, character miniatures, bold and detailed player boards, beautifully illustrated cards, and much more, Dungeonology: the expedition is simply a gorgeous game. You’ll get a lot of game for your buck when you support the Kickstarter, which has blown past its initial goal. But don’t miss your chance to join the expedition now and add your support! (Pre-orders of the game will be available later for an increased price.)

If your thesis was based on a fantasy world, who or what would you write about? Tell us in the comments.

This post is sponsored by Ludus Magnus Studio.

All Images: Ludus Magnus Studio

WATCH: Under Control | Callisto 6 | Season 1, Episode 6

Apr 19 2019

What will getting answers cost them? And what will it mean if the group needs to make a deal with the devil for the greater good?

 

Callisto 6 takes place in Los Angeles in the year 2119, where a world of cyberpunk is broken by the emergence of superheroes.

Building a Random Encounter with a Ghost, Bandit, and Halberd

Apr 18 2019

Game Masters Hall is our series to where different storytellers share their experiences and discuss various topics revolving around the art of being a Game Master.

The Deck of Many is a tool used to assist Game Masters in their role-playing campaigns. Filled with creative art and reference materials, the decks are used similar to other spell and reference cards; simply bring what you need to the table. At their face value, the cards are quick useful things for your party to reference when needed and saving valuable in-game tempo.

GMH Deck Of Many Image 1

There is another fun use: shuffle them and design random encounters.

Taking one card from the Monsters, Weapons, and NPC deck each, we are going to build a random encounter. To our luck today, we’ve drawn a Ghost, Bandit, and a Halberd. With a group of players ready and at the waiting, it’s now our job to improvise a sidequest on the fly. Since every story begins with a hook that can be summed up in a single sentence, here’s mine:

An old bandit enemy comes to the party seeking forgiveness for his past deeds.

The Price of Redemption

GMH Deck of many Image 2

Adventuring parties put down their fair share of bandits. Like a pack of ravenous murder-hobos, some D&D groups only see bandits as the meat to grind up before the shiny loot and boss encounters. Using this premise, it is likely that every adventuring party has had a run-in with a brigand of sorts. Our Bandit for this encounter shall be named Valun, and unfortunately for him, he got his tail kicked by the party several levels ago. Valun has tried to reform his ways, but despite noble attempts at learning the skill of painting, a ghost of his old captain won’t let him rest. Every night, Valun is tormented by visions of the parties assault on them, and the brutality of which his comrades were slain. The captain demands Valun take up their orders signature weapon (a Halberd) and continue their crime spree so nobody will ever forget about them.

It’s taken Valun a while to track the party of PC’s down, but after many sleepless nights, Valun finds the group and grovels at their feet with the Halberd. They’ve changed his life and showed him mercy once before, but he can’t handle a ghost alone. The Captain has charged him with collecting the Halberds of their fallen members to form a ghostly brigade of bandits that wield spectral weapons. Can the party be bothered to set aside their current quest to help a Bandit before it’s too late? If the party ignores Valun on account of their current mission being too important, then he will eventually succumb and start robbing weapon merchants to build the spectral Bandit Brigade. If the party helps him, then they must wait until nightfall when the Ghost Captain manifests and slay the creature, setting Valun back on the path of a semi-righteous painter. Their reward? A Halberd. Not sure what they are going to do with that, but they did a good deed today.

How would this encounter play out with your group? Let us know in the comments below!

This post is sponsored by The Deck of Many.

MORE RPG GOODNESS

Featured Image by: The Deck of Many

Rick Heinz is the author of The Seventh Age Series, Dread Adventures, and a storyteller with a focus on D&D For Kids, Wraith: The Oblivion, Eclipse Phase, and an overdose of LARPs. You can follow the game or urban fantasy related thingies on Twitter or Facebook or reach out for writing at 7thAgeSeries@gmail.com

WATCH: Game Masters Hall Special Feature: Your Best Game Ever

Apr 18 2019

Eric Campbell is joined by Darcy Ross of Monte Cook Games to discuss their new book Your Best Game Ever; a brand new tool book for enhancing your RPG experience at the table!

 

Thanks to Monte Cook Games for partnering with us on this video. Pre-order Your Best Game Ever here: mymcg.info/bestgame

WATCH: Betrayal Legacy – Part 11 | Game the Game

Apr 18 2019

COPY: In part eleven of this extended Game the Game, players take on Betrayal Legacy by Avalon Hill. In this campaign format host Becca Scott and guests Jay Africa, James Katica, and Xander Jeanneret craft the house’s iconic history to tell a new scary story.

 

Thanks to Avalon Hill for partnering with us on this video. Conjure Betrayal Legacy here: https://avalonhill.wizards.com/avalon-hill-betrayal-legacy

WATCH: Teardrop | Vampire: The Masquerade – L.A. By Night | Season 2, Episode 4

Apr 17 2019

The coterie hunts for a missing Nelli before they must meet with the Baron of Santa Monica to discuss politics, power, and the future of L.A.

 

L.A. By Night is a dark tale of personal horror and inhuman conspiracy that sees four vampires doing their best to navigate the macabre affairs and terrifying realities of the night.

WATCH: The Cult of Barnacle Bay Minis | G&S Painters Guild | Season 1, Episode 8

Apr 17 2019

Will Friedle is joined by Elizabeth Beckley to paint miniatures! This week is all about The Cult of Barnacle Bay Minis.

 

Miniature figures can help a tabletop gaming session come to life, but painting those miniature figures is an acquired skill. Welcome to the Geek & Sundry Painters Guild! Host Will Friedle is joined by professional guests like Matthew Mercer and Elizabeth Beckley-Bradford to teach you the intricacies and techniques required to paint your own miniatures!

Brush up on your painting skills with us:
Learn how to take care of your brushes with these tips!
Speed through this stormtrooper speedpainting tutorial
Take your minis to the kitchen for these painting hacks!

WATCH: Creating Dynamic NPCs | Game Masters Hall

Apr 16 2019

Host Markeia McCarty is joined by Eric Campbell to discuss the best ways to create dynamic and engaging NPCs for your campaign!

 

Thanks to The Deck of Many and Level Up Dice for partnering with us on this video.

 

Learn more about The Deck of Many: https://thedeckofmany.com/

Learn more about Level Up Dice: https://levelupdice.net/

 

Twelve of the best RPG Game Masters will share tips, tricks, and insights into their expertise. Whether you’re an experienced GM or looking to get started as a storyteller, Game Masters Hall will set you at the top of your game. Watch new episodes every Tuesday!

WATCH: How to Play Dungeonology: The Expedition

Apr 16 2019

Learn about monsters and submit your thesis! In this week’s How to Play, host Becca Scott teaches Dungeonology: the expedition by Ludus Magnus Studio. In this atypical dungeon crawl, players are students aiming to gather the best information to become a professor.

 

Thanks to Ludus Magnus Studio for partnering with us on this video. Learn more about the game here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lmstudio/dungeonology-the-expedition?ref=3q5667

Should You Fudge Your Dice?

Apr 15 2019

Game Masters Hall is our series to where different storytellers share their experiences and discuss various topics revolving around the art of being a Game Master.

The dice giveth, and the dice taketh. In RPG’s, the random nature of dice is what turns our stories into something other than a pre-scripted novel. An epic boss fight the storyteller had planned could go south with a series of PC botches and turn into a total party kill. On the flip-side, a few critical successes at the right time could allow the party to succeed beyond their wildest imaginations. Game systems like D&D are incredibly swingy with the dice as a narrative tool, while others like War Machine keeps their massive swings muted.

With the amount of work that players put into their characters or the storytellers in a plot, we inevitably find ourselves at the mercy of the cursed dice. Players have gotten frustrated and quit games over dice rolling badly, and storytellers have always lied about what we really roll behind the GM screen. It’s a compelling and understandable urge to reach out and control fate, perhaps tip the dice a little or argue that a re-roll is required since it landed on the GM’s cat. At what point are we undercutting the base rules of the game for our own urges? When is it best to roll dice behind your screen, knowing you might need to fudge rather than increasing tension with an open table roll?

A Tool Of Suspense

GMH LU Dice 9

 

Dice are just one medium that we use to increase suspense. Vampire: The Masquerade LARP’s use a terribly complex system of Rock-Paper-Scissors, some systems use cards, and others like Dread use Jenga towers. Dice, however, give you a range of success and failure to tell your story in. If dice are perceived as that extra spice to bring flavor to a game, then even botches aren’t your enemy and there should be no reason to lie about their roles.

Unless you want to build suspense.

We get stuck in a bind when the players or the rules call for a roll and we passively go along with it. Meanwhile, the table chatter comes up with amazing theories about happens if an event comes to pass or the dice fail them and it’s so brilliant, it needs to happen. So you roll behind your screen, see the outcome of the dice and make the judgment call right there: you can do better. Storytellers will always read their room better than the dice, and if you need to overrule that cursed pointy object go ahead. On the flip side, sometimes rolling a critical saving throw out in the open can be just as engaging.

When do you roll dice in front of players for extra effect? Tell us your best dice story below!

This post is sponsored by Level Up Dice.

Featured Images by: Level Up Dice

Rick Heinz is the author of The Seventh Age Series, Dread Adventures, and a storyteller with a focus on D&D For Kids, Wraith: The Oblivion, Eclipse Phase, and an overdose of LARPs. You can follow the game or urban fantasy related thingies on Twitter or Facebook or reach out for writing at 7thAgeSeries@gmail.com

WATCH: Janina Gavankar in The Mystery of King Senna’s Tomb Part 2 | Relics and Rarities | Episode 4 Part 2

Apr 15 2019

Having set off for the Tomb of King Senna to find the Axe of Thanian Mayit, our adventurers have run into peril. They will have to think fast to escape this deadly situation — and the tomb — with their lives.

Set in a mysterious curio shop, creator Deborah Ann Woll brings a unique twist to the world of Dungeons & Dragons with gripping storytelling and arcane objects. Join Woll and a party of special guests each week as they face her puzzles and challenges!

 

Want more Relics and Rarities?
Meet the guests of Relics and Rarities!
Reflect with Janina Gavankar on her Relics experience
Take a look at our Relics heroes!

WATCH: Game Mechanics Affecting Story | Roundtable | Ep. 5

Apr 15 2019

This week on the Roundtable, Jasmine Bhullar, Ivan Van Norman, and Matt Colville are talking about how game mechanics can effect your story. Grab a drink and pull up a chair to the Roundtable!

 

The Secrets Of Clan Malkavian In VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE

Apr 12 2019

Twenty-seven years ago Vampire: The Masquerade was released in 1991, and it’s been through a few iterations thus far along its journey. Our RPG show, Vampire: The Masquerade – L.A. By Night is diving into the Vampire: The Masquerade’s Fifth Edition and the World Of Darkness it resides in. If you’re as excited about it as we are, but aren’t familiar with the universe, here’s a crash course get you up to speed.

X, played by Xander Jeanneret, represents Clan Malkavian in L.A. By Night. The Clan of prophets, seers, and madmen doesn’t have any secrets; simply nobody listens to them. Few Clans can claim to have been so reviled and hated that they’ve had almost every other Clan seek their eradication at one point or another in history. Mental Illness (of any kind) has always been difficult for society-at-large to understand, and Clan Malkavian suffers from it as an immortal curse. With no structured Clan organization and no driving purpose, let’s dive into this clan and uncover how they survive and their real purpose…

The Madness Network

Vampire Malkavian Fashion

Unlike other clans, whose founders and ancient vampires are all sleeping or dead, Clan Malkavian carries an amazing secret within each and every member: Malkav himself. In the early days, among the ancient city of Enoch, Malkav was one of three vampires with the same sire. He and his companions would each rise to become seen as City-Gods in their own way, each with a gift of a special sight. Malkav and his children had the gift of foresight and prophecy; Salout has the gift of wisdom and internal harmony, and Set had knowledge of the spirit world around them. When a vampire revolution happened, each of them found themselves on the run or perished; of course, Malkav saw this coming (who guessed that right?).

When he was vanquished, Malkav spread himself among the blood that he gave to his Childer, and like the master Vampires of legend, he lives on within each of them. All of Clan Malkavian is connected through a madness network that gives them bits of prophecy. A Malkavian in L.A. might be brushing his cute little fangs in the mirror one night and suddenly get an image of another Malkavian in Paris getting violently murdered. Of course, when the Malkavian with clean teeth tries to tell anyone about this, they think he’s nuts—particularly if this happened in the dark ages. In modern nights, Malkavian’s tend to keep this knowledge about their clan founder, and their erratic and uncontrolled connection to each other tight-lipped, as far too many Malkavian’s were burned at the stake for “Hysteria” by fearful Vampires and humans.

The Great Prank

For centuries Clan Malkavian had a Discipline called Dementation. This power allowed them to infect others with their insanity. When other clans descended upon them in the Dark Ages, Clan Malkavian used this weapon to cause insanity in Kindred courts. With their gift, they could make even the staunchest Prince fearful of the shadows or see enemies in old allies. While this saved the Clan during the Dark Ages, eventually the clan realized that this gift would be their undoing against the growing legions of Cainites. The Elders of the clan came up with a masterful plan:

They erased their own Clan Discipline.

Without telling anyone (including most of their clan), the entire clan suddenly lost the gift of Dementation and had it replaced with Dominate. No longer could the clan infect people with their insanity, and now they could simply control the minds of mortals. Malkavian courtiers ran to the courts and told everyone; “Look guys! We aren’t insane anymore!” (or something like that). This saved the clan for a few hundred years until 1998—when they just decided it was time to have the power of Dementation back. In V5, for an unknown reason, the Clan has again gone back to Dominate proving that nobody can really know what the heck is up with Malkavians on any day of the week at this point.

Loresheets

Vampire Malkavian Loresheet

In V5, Clan Malkavian is represented among the Lore Sheets by the Descendants of Vasantasena on page 399. Based off weakening the Blood Bond or deprogramming sect brainwashing it’s a good Lore-Sheet. There are other great character options for them beyond their clan specific one. The Week Of Nightmares was meant to be the great apocalyptic event of Vampire and end the game line, instead, The Red Star that became the Harbinger of Gehenna came.. and vanished—but in old lore, Malkavian’s saw it all.

Taking this Lore Sheet is a perfect backdrop for any Malkavian in V5, as it grants you the oral history of the Week of Nightmares. Allowing you to spout end-time prophecies or spin your own tales (and have people believe them). As you advance in the Lore, you uncover secrets about the Red Star still being visible to yourself and others like you. Lastly, master this Lore Sheet and gain access to a most powerful object: The Blood of Zapathasura. An ancient Antedulivian founder of the Ravnos Clan, illusionists and wanders, it was killed during the Week of Nightmares which happened around 1998 and you are in possession of his blood. What you do with this blood, however, is up to you and the Storyteller…

What clan of Vampire: The Masquerade do you identify with? Tell us in the comments below!

More Vampire: The Masquerade Gaming goodness!

Featured Image: Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition
Image Credits: Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition

Rick Heinz is the author of The Seventh Age: Dawn, and a storyteller with a focus on LARPs, Wraith: The Oblivion, Eclipse Phase, and many more. You can follow game or urban fantasy related thingies on Twitter or Facebook.

WATCH: The Perfect Plan | Callisto 6 | Season 1, Episode 5

Apr 12 2019

The team decides to take a risk and infiltrate the lion’s den, in search of answers. What could go wrong?

 

Callisto 6 takes place in Los Angeles in the year 2119, where a world of cyberpunk is broken by the emergence of superheroes.

 

More Callisto 6 Goodness:

Why Do We Use Dice in Tabletop RPGs?

Apr 11 2019

Game Masters Hall is our series to where different storytellers share their experiences and discuss various topics revolving around the art of being a Game Master.

Most tabletop RPG’s (and board games!) use some form of random generator to increase suspense. The theory stands, that if players are left to their own imagination, they would always win every encounter and their sword would strike the perfect blow each time—so dice are used to ensure failure. With a little bit of luck, characters can surpass the most iconic monsters and cut down entire Pantheons with a wooden sword. In chronicles or systems that don’t rely upon dice to determine outcomes, they are often used as analog data storage. Flipping over a few D10’s and using them as counters for damage or a ticking clock for a bomb are prime examples of this method.

Tabletop RPG’s weren’t always character driven and filled with uplifting narratives on their quest. The early ages of Dungeons & Dragons were more dungeon crawls than anything else. You rolled up a character (or several) and hoped you were lucky enough to score Psionics on an impossible chart. Many will remember when the Strength score for the Fighter class went up to 18, and then you rolled a percentile dice to eek out some extra bonuses with a stat that looked like: 18/55.

These entirely random metrics to your character was what you had before they entered the meat grinder on adventures where DM’s murdered characters with reckless abandon. After enough grueling combat, you might win and perhaps you would form an attachment to the character. Today, games start with character attachment first and then slap a lethal luck based system on top of that. So how have dice changed the nature of storytelling today?

A Tactile Connection

GMH LU Dice 10

In the glorious age of modern gaming dice rolling apps, digital online-roleplaying, and even full tabletop programs that calculate every iota of data make regular dice seem pointless. Gamers are a superstitious lot by nature (raise your hand if you still place all your dice with 1’s face up for the dice-mites) and will both praise and shun their dice. Dice Shaming is a glorious internet meme filled with hilarious stories.

More often than not, players buy custom dice for both their characters and the kind of game they are playing. Luxury dice makers like Level Up dice craft dice from bone for the Necromancers in your party or even caged metal dice that wobble and jingle when rolled to add flair for your Bards. At the end of a long campaign, giving custom dice to players and GM’s has become something of a regular tradition in some groups. A way to memorialize and honor the shared memories the group has been through together.

Storytelling with dice today has become less about their use as a random number generator, and more about the suspense and impact they have in connecting the real world to the imaginary. In the end, it’s okay to yell at your dice and blame them for their terrible life choices and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

What’s your favorite dice-shaming story? Let us know in the comments below!

This post is sponsored by Level Up Dice.

Featured Images by: Level Up Dice

Rick Heinz is the author of The Seventh Age Series, Dread Adventures, and a storyteller with a focus on D&D For Kids, Wraith: The Oblivion, Eclipse Phase, and an overdose of LARPs. You can follow the game or urban fantasy related thingies on Twitter or Facebook or reach out for writing at 7thAgeSeries@gmail.com

WATCH: Game the Game – Guardian’s Call (Playthrough)

Apr 11 2019

Save the villagers and trick your allies! In this week’s Game the Game, host Becca Scott is joined by Tommy Walker, Julia Dennis, and Jason Nguyen to play Guardian’s Call from Skybound. In this social deduction game, players must gather weapons, ancient artifacts, and use magic spells to safeguard the villagers to become the Guardian of the Realm.

 

Thanks to Skybound for partnering with us on this video. Check out Guardian’s Call here: https://store.skybound.com/products/guardian-s-call

 

Want a primer on the rules? Check out How to Play below:

WATCH: Gentle Manners | Vampire: The Masquerade – L.A. By Night | Season 2, Episode 3

Apr 10 2019

With the Masquerade and their safety both in jeopardy, the coterie regroups after a deadly encounter with the Camarilla. Do their new Tremere allies hold the answers to survival?

 

Sink your teeth into season 2 of Vampire: The Masquerade – L.A. By Night! Streaming on Twitch https://www.twitch.tv/geekandsundry

 

L.A. By Night is a dark tale of personal horror and inhuman conspiracy that sees four vampires doing their best to navigate the macabre affairs and terrifying realities of the night.

WATCH: From Nibbing to Painting | G&S Painters Guild | Season 1, Episode 7

Apr 10 2019

Will Friedle is once again joined by guest Nathan Villareal to paint their miniatures! This episode focuses on… painting!

 

Miniature figures can help a tabletop gaming session come to life, but painting those miniature figures is an acquired skill. Welcome to the Geek & Sundry Painters Guild! Host Will Friedle is joined by professional guests like Matthew Mercer and Elizabeth Beckley-Bradford to teach you the intricacies and techniques required to paint your own miniatures!

 

Brush up on your painting skills with us:
Learn how to take care of your brushes with these tips!
Speed through this stormtrooper speedpainting tutorial
Take your minis to the kitchen for these painting hacks!

WATCH: Enhancing Your Game | Game Masters Hall

Apr 9 2019

Join host Amy Vorpahl as she chats with Markeia McCarty about the tools that you can utilize as GM to enhance your game!

 

Thanks to The Deck of Many and Level Up Dice for partnering with us on this video.

 

Check out the Humblewood Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hitpointpress/humblewood-campaign-setting-for-5e-dnd?ref=6ebnp2

Learn more about Level Up Dice: https://levelupdice.net/

 

Twelve of the best RPG Game Masters will share tips, tricks, and insights into their expertise. Whether you’re an experienced GM or looking to get started as a storyteller, Game Masters Hall will set you at the top of your game. Watch new episodes every Tuesday!

WATCH: How to Play Guardian’s Call

Apr 9 2019

Save the villagers and trick your allies! In this week’s How to Play, host Becca Scott teaches Guardian’s Call from Skybound. In this social deduction game, players must gather weapons, ancient artifacts, and  magic spells to safeguard the villagers and become the Guardian of the Realm.

 

Thanks to Skybound for partnering with us on this video. Check out Guardian’s Call here: https://store.skybound.com/products/guardian-s-call

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