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I think it would be easy to modify Inspectres to fit the age group and keep the rules aspect squarely on the GM's side. This might be one of the mainstream RPGs you alluded to earlier, in which case - whoops! sorry! I just love InSpectres so much.

I noticed there's a real lack of quick, scripted videos you can send to people before you play, so I'm filling the void with Character Class. I posted this in the D&D subforum because that's where I started, I'm hoping to tackle Savage Worlds, DCC, PBTA, Forged in the Dark, Kingdom, and more in the future.

First episode here!

I'm always interested in "faction level" play to make a game world seem more alive; the flawed, powerful people at the top pursuing their goals haphazardly and with the randomness that dice provide makes the hero-level gameplay more interesting. With that in mind I've drafted a very simple version of a wargame to play out in between adventures in 5e. Any thoughts are appreciated, I've always found writing this sort of numbered, nested "GMT wargame" style rules quite challenging and I'm sure I messed up somewhere.

Makes sense - I do like the feel of it, and in that case maybe some method to make this all more transparent to the players. I mean, in fact, why not just play this turn out in front of them? The stuff about supply lines and things like wanted posters all make this seem like it's just creating opportunities for them, and there could be nice tension seeing this unfold, especially since you indicate this should be after they reach a higher Tier anyway. At that point they would conceivably have the resources and connections to learn about some of the vampire's actions as they unfold.

This is lovely, and reminds me of my faction game rules along similar lines (which I mention not as a plug, but in the hope you can mine some useful nuggets from it).

Is the basic idea that this is a way to handle direct antagonism towards the PCs? Or is there any way that Vampire Lords plot against each other?

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Something like this? (for a campaign based on the STALKER games/Annihilation)

The Guide: A sharpshooter and guide, expert in leading others through the Zone.

Hunt 2, Survey 1

Safari Guide: Command 1, Skirmish 1, Consort 1, Prowl 1, Herding Kittens

Sniper: Prowl 2, Skirmish 1, Survey 2, Sharpshooter

Field Researcher: Study 2, Survey 2, Finesse 1, Survivor

Trophy Hunter: Skirmish 2, Prowl 2, Mutant Hunter

Friends and Enemies:

Old Gregg, a dangerous mutant: an honored foe, or unfinished business?

Todt, a technician

Barnaby, the outfitter

Gallup, the artifact fence

Hester, big mutant hunter


Fine rifle or shotgun (2) for +1 load add any 2: silenced, high capacity, automatic, scoped

Fine sidearm (1), add 1: scoped, high capacity, silenced, high caliber

Fine binoculars with night vision (1)

Maps, charts, and navigational gear with known anomalies marked (0)

Ghillie suit (2)

Specialized ammunition (1)

Sharpshooter: you can push yourself to do one of the following: make a ranged attack far beyond normal distance for your weapon, or hit a weak spot for Potency

Scout: when you gather info to locate a target, +1 effect. When you hide using camouflage +1d to avoid detection.

Herding Kittens: When leading a group action in stealth or to examine dangerous terrain and anomalies, take 1 less stress from failures. Additionally, you may use two 6s that appear on separate rolls as a Critical Success.

Focused: you may use your special armor to resist a consequence from surprise or the environment, or to push yourself for ranged combat or tracking.

Survivor: you are immune to the poisonous miasma and radiation of the Zone and can subsist on the strange flora and fauna there. Additionally, +1 stress box.

Mutant Hunter: You gain +1d when resisting harm from mutants, and treat all Harm as one level lower in general. Level 4 Harm is still a mortal wound, however, you can just keep going for a little while.

Cartographer (requires 2 advances): +1d to engagement rolls and gather information checks when visiting familiar territory. Additionally, gain this XP trigger: gain XP when the need to map territory and anomalies causes complications.

Good advice, thanks!

Just like the topic says: how do you approach designing playbooks? My instinct is to start with the originals and tweak until they fit my campaign, but I wonder how you'd do them from scratch? 

Let's assume for the sake of this exercise I've also done the requisite due diligence thinking of okay but does the game really need this and come away with an affirmative. Once I have a concept and their role in a score ready, do I start by hanging their starting skills on it and messing around with special abilities?

And as far as special abilities go, seems like everyone has some sort of special armor/push yourself ability, some kind of "weird" ability, a special way to push yourself, and then kind of a grab bag of things useful to that particular role. Anything I've missed?

Thanks in advance for any insight.

Left some comments, disregard the ones that ain't useful. I like the feel of this.

"Play Hardball" is a fantastic move that finally made me understand the intent of "go aggro" in vanilla PBTA.

(finalist of the 24 second game jam, which is how much work/thought I put into this)

Player Roles: You are each incarnations of Eternal Warrior Emilio Estevez, guardian of the Esteverse. The GM will decide what terrible fate has befallen reality today and, once you've gathered your party from the halls of Valhalla it's time to sally forth. Each player creates a character and sets out.

Character generation
d6 for Character Class
1: Sports Estevez
2: Crime Estevez
3: Dystopio Estevez
4: Breakfestevez
5: Directevez
6: Emilio Westevez

d6 for Special Skills
1: Shooting
2: Coaching
3: Crimeing
4: Cowboy
5: Vehicle
6: Showbiz

Task Resolution:
roll 2d6 for a task, +1d6 if your Skill and/or Class would apply (+2d6 max). A 4, 5, or 6 succeeds. More 1s than successes is a Critical Failure. More 6s than anything else is a Critical Success.

You need 3 successes per player before 2 failures per player occur to win your quest. A critical success is 2 successes, a critical failure is 2 failures *and* reduces the player's task dice to 1d6 +bonus dice for the remainder of the game.

good luck have fun

Thank you for this!

My backup plan if they don't run away to lick their wounds is a "smash cut" to the Keep where someone's asking for another 20 brave volunteers to go check on the first 20 brave volunteers.

I thought I'd start them with their 20 commoners just outside the caves of chaos...after a couple beatings they can head back to town, then I'll get into the Keep.

Hail and well met,

I just picked up Goodman Games' "gonzo OSR" DCC to cross off a bucket list item: I want to run Keep on the Borderlands. Anyway, I've read through the book a few times but am wondering if anyone can offer advice on this system, anything you wish you'd known? Something that's been overlooked? Anything you got wrong once or twice?

Otherwise, any and all Keep On The Borderlands advice is also welcome.


When you just have get work done, what do you put on to drown out the horror and noise of everyday existence?

Rules and clarifications:

1. It can absolutely be an album, a song, or even just a genre, but more specific is, I think, better.
2. If you have the ability to post a link, please do!
3. If there are explicit lyrics, please call that out (because I'll almost definitely listen to some of this music at work :-) )
4. Put a little something in there about how this became the choice!

I'll start: I use the Day of the Dead OST because I can't get work done if there's lyrics, at over an hour it's the right length to knock out a chunk of something, it's got a relentless energy to it that works in the movie and for getting things done, and because I listened to this a whole whole bunch to inspire me when I had to write a zombie game once.

Should we start one?

As a player, the Faceless move "Oh Yeah!" which allows you to bust through obstacles is one of my favorite terrifying cans to open.

As an MC, across settings, any move that lets them collect more information about the world, the factions, the threats, whatever - an informed party is an engaged and well-prepared party.

I'm trying to wrap my head around this game, so I'm wondering if anyone has played it, what advice they'd have for someone running it, what they wish they'd known , and if there's any common house rules or things to be aware of.

Any and all advice is welcome. Thanks!

Yeah, it caused some difficulties, as the five "vanilla" stats are broad and evocative and I have a good idea what those are for. There's some clear parallels - Charisma/Hot, Weird/Luck - but Hard winds up split up a bit depending on what you're trying to accomplish and Intelligence doesn't cover everything that Sharp does, and Cool? fuggedaboutit, as they say.

So I tried to compensate in other ways: Endurance isn't used much, but you wind up with more health if you have it. Agility is used way too much, but not by's not 100% successful. I'm not sure how to fix it and I'm open to ideas.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to defend my ideas!

It's not a perfect fit, and I'm sure there's typos and problems a-plenty, but it's something I made to tide me over until the Mophidius adaptation of my favorite computer game arrives: Fallout PBtA

I've done exactly one playtest and the wheels didn't come off, which is an outstanding success in my book.

Oh and since factions have 9+Tier Stress to play with higher Tier factions are going to have that much more going for them as well.

In theory a Tier 4 faction winds up being on par more with a Tier 3 faction because of the extra clocks, which means they need to be launching more scores to clear stress, but they're also the more politically interesting factions to play and what is Blades anyway without the concept of "fictional positioning" anyway? T4 factions will have the position to pull off more daring operations and more convoluted schemes.

I also needed some way to keep whichever smart-aleck playing the Imperial Military from rolling over everyone for no good reason . :P

The bigger factions are going to be more successful more of the time, will have more coin to spend on actions, and will have more special abilities, so "bureaucracy" is my attempt to rein in the larger factions a little bit. 

Factions get 2 actions, same as regular characters, and can also pay for extra actions with Coin.

Hi there, I started noodling around with a "faction game" for Blades in the Dark similar to the same idea in Stars Without Number or D&D's Birthright, and I would welcome comments and feedback. I understand it's not laid out very efficiently at the moment and I ask you to bear with me in that regard while I shape the core ideas further.

Link here.

I guess Savage Worlds? It's been a long long time since I've seen a change made to the core rules that felt energizing and fresh. The system takes small tweaks and changes for settings very well, but to me a "hack" is running with the basic mechanics until you get somewhere else (but I allow that maybe I don't understand the term fully). The only examples I can think of are the superhero rules for Necessary Evil and the dueling rules for Deadlands.

If it's crass to put this here, hopefully the mods will step in and let me know - my project is my ongoing Patreon, which is mostly 5E stuff with a smattering of other systems as the mood hits me. The link above goes to the free Public stuff.

no gods watch over you

She dies so quickly that you are still braced for a struggle from her that never arrives. You've never seen the life jump out of a body that fast.

I think the two things I'd really want to do are 1) customize my animal buddy and 2) explore my friendship with my companion; are we antagonistic? codependent? is this strictly professional? etc.

Something like Pokemon's elemental system would be a nice bit of icing on the cake as well, but not as necessary as those two are, IMO.

Hello, I'm Theron (he/him)! I was active on TTRPG forums years and years ago and started to miss the sense of community there, and thought this looked like a welcoming and joyful place to be.