Inspiration From Real Places – Ronda, Spain

Ronda, Spain has some cool bridges across a gorge c. 100 meters (c. 328 feet) deep between parts of the town. It first came to my attention as a screensaver on my Win 10 PC, so I had to look it up.

Playing with the Google map Earth view and the 3-D features gives a very cool view of the “New Bridge”, Puente Nuevo.

I have in mind a walled city atop the cliffs, split by the gorge, with one part surrounded by steep cliffs, and the bridge across the gorge is from an area that slopes away, providing the only ground access. Massive gates with a drawbridge to prevent direct access to the city would deter all but the most determined and well-equipped enemy.

The citadel area would not have room to spread out, but could grow up, and have sewers and passages carved out of the stone beneath. Over time, these clandestine ways in allow thieves and smugglers their own way in and out of the city. Over time, the knowledge of these ways may be lost to officials and laxity in patrols could lead to enemies or creatures getting in unobserved.

The other half of the city across the bridge would have room to grow beyond the walls, limited by the cliffs and the gorge. There would be fewer tall building and less digging below, since it is easier to just spread out here. Tall buildings and excavations below would only appeal to those that have nowhere else to spread out. However, the city government, local noble, etc. would prevent buildings being too tall to prevent them being an archery platform in the event of an invasion or siege.

I wish I had time to dig into developing this right now, but I’m gathering notes for the four games I’ll be running a UCon in a few weeks. I have to get it done now since I will be at Gamehole Con the weekend before UCon. So I also have to gather the stuff for the games I am signed up for at Gamehole.



Mini Review – Apes Victorious

There’s a new RPG in town, Apes Victorious. It’s built on the standard RPG engine of so many other games based on the original RPG. The focus is on a world like that in the Planet of the Apes movies and TV show. Release on Monday, it is now the top seller on RPGNow.

It takes the “standard” RPG rules and comes up with a game that is its own setting. It is faithful to the cinematic world, and lays out the different types of apes, with the addition of bonobos. Humans can be time travelling astronauts, humanoids (regressed non-speaking humans), and underdwellers. It postulates a 1970’s era technology far in advance of what it was, but using the films as a starting point for what happened.

The nuclear apocalypse and subsequent ice age to wipe away most of past humanity’s efforts sets the stage for the rise of apes. The movies’ world setting is well presented, and suits many other apocalyptic settings.

One could argue that you can just use Metamorphosis Alpha, Gamma World, or other science fiction/apocalyptic RPG. However, the authors have anticipated this argument and made a case for multiple ways to make this a stand alone campaign of more than just one-shot adventures or convention play.

They also present a sample map and scenarios and creatures to encounter in the wilderness.

As someone who loved the original movies back when they finally made it to TV, and acted out scenarios with brothers and friends before we found RPG’s, it feels like the movies.

There is a free no art version available and two variation on the character sheet here. You can get the complete PDF at RPGNow for $4.97. Print options are forthcoming.

I tried to think of what is lacking in this game. The main reservation I had, of making it a campaign worthy game, were addressed by the authors. A niche game in a niche hobby, it is good to see the developers acknowledge what some will see as shortcomings.

I am curious about the art, so I may give in and get the art version.

There is a G+ Community that started back in the spring when they first announced the summer release of Apes Victorious.

This article uses affiliate links. A small portion of your purchases on RPGNow and DriveThruRPG help support this site.

Local Con Date Conflict with Gary Con IX

Marmalade Dog, a con hosted by the West Michigan Gamers Guild (WMGG) and held on the Western Michigan University campus is the same weekend as Gary Con. I was able to attend both last year because they were different weekends.

Unfortunately, the date is set by the people in charge of the calendar at WMU and they have to take what they are given.

I intended to step up and make sure an OSR track happened this year, but I don’t want to put in all the work if I can’t follow it through to the end. I was getting ready to plan what games I might run, but figured I’d better verify the dates before I put in the work.

The cool thing about this con, if you sign up to run games by December 31, you get a t-shirt and free admission for each day that you run a game. So if you are nearby and won’t be at GaryCon, consider running a game at Marmalade Dog.

Find the closest game convention in your area and join in the fun. If you are unable to run a game for whatever reason, sign up to play. Even if you only participate for a day, you still show the convention organizers that there is interest, and it will happen again next year.

If you are looking for a list of game conventions, here are some sites that have lists.

A good and organic list is at Gaming Convention Central. The main page is focused on the USA, but it has links for conventions worldwide. One can also submit conventions not on their list here.

Wikipedia also has a list of Gaming Conventions. Gamehole Con is missing from this list.

Board Game Geek has a good list that is also worldwide. Their list is a WIKI so it appears that you can easily edit to add to the list.

The site Upcoming Cons has a list that shows which cons are next, but it missing several cons on the other sites. Reading more about this site, it appears to be a tool for convention organizers to handle their registration, so it only has cons using its tools. This is a very narrow focus, so I can’t recommend it for finding a con in your area.

Lastly, if you can’t find anything local on these lists, do a google search for gaming conventions in your area. Once you find them, add them to the other lists so it is easier for others to find them. If you have an FLGS (Friendly Local Game Store), make sure that the local con is advertised there. If you are looking for people to play with in person, the FLGS and local cons are the way to go. The online sites for finding players only seem to work when you are closer to major metropolitan areas. Unless you want to drive an hour or more one way. Those sites are only as good as those who sign up. If there are none in your area, or none with an interest in your area of interest, you will be disappointed.

Happy Birthday! Dave Arneson

What a fun tribute for Dave Arneson’s birthday! If you haven’t already heard, a trailer was released for a new movie about the birth of the first role playing game.

See more about it in my article on Multiverse.

It is also the last day of the third and final Read an RPG Book In Public Week for 2016.

I had delivery of a Kickstarter, The ABC’s of RPGs. It includes a children’s book, activity book, bookmark, and stickers. My 20 month old granddaughter loves the book and made me read it about 6 times before bed the other night. The art is cool and just sets the tone.