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General Category => Role Playing Public Radio Podcast => Topic started by: Twisting H on August 15, 2016, 05:23:59 PM

Title: RPPR general chat
Post by: Twisting H on August 15, 2016, 05:23:59 PM
In which we ask random questions of the RPPR crew or just chat.

( (

Hey Ross. Have you heard of the worldbook Gurps Fantasy II: Adventures in the Mad Lands?

Written by Robin Laws and released in '93 it is has impressed everyone who has read it. However no one has run an adventure in this totally unique weird world.

Summary by Babylon Astronaut from the Something Awful forums:

"Everything in the world is insane and powerful beyond imagination and you're an early bronze age hunter or fisher. Like the characters from winnie the pooh can stomp your village into dirt and make everyone into a skinless zombie, or maybe a wizard on holiday will nuke you for sport while on a drug bender. Almost every interaction with the things that make the setting end in madness, death, or both. The only pursuit you're capable of tackling, outside of subsistence, is I don't know, learning magic from talking seals and then being shunned by society or raiding the Inuits, which accomplishes nothing. All of this sounds fun as hell, but if you invested any time or effort into your character, you will be sorely disappointed when you become a giant foot with eyeballs or kidnapped by a feudal knight."

I'd like to point out every word in that paragraph is completely accurate.  Thanks to Robin Law's imagination there is no exaggeration.

Ross, since RPPR is made of roleplaying professionals I'd love to hear an attempt at this truly unique game world from you guys. I know learning a new system, let alone a new world book is a major hurdle. 

I recommend you just ditch the GURPS mechanics and adapt it to a system you guys know well.  Fiasco maybe. Call of Cthulhu could definitely work (sanity matters). Hillfolk may also work.

If RPPR produced a podcast in this setting it would be the only podcast on the internet as far as I know that has worked with this much loved setting.

Alternatively, perhaps a Patron reward for a certain tier would be recommending a game book or system to run an adventure in.

Anyway, cheers.

I was looking for links to some of the Delta Green RPPR podcasts to recommend them the other day and I noticed not all of the DG podcasts were under the Call of Cthulhu > Delta Green header. 

Maybe this changed in the migration to a new host?

Anyway, if it helps, here is a list of the older Delta Green games not tagged with Delta Green: ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( (

NB: Finding Iconoclasts and Lover in the Ice to recommend I always forget they are not under the DG tag.

Divine Fire ( ( ( (

Title: Re: RPPR general chat
Post by: clockworkjoe on August 18, 2016, 01:18:49 AM
Adventures in the Mad Lands sounds kind of too random to be fun? I mean, I'm sure Laws wrote an interesting book, but that bit does not sell it to me. I'll order a copy since it's cheap but I am skeptical right now, I have to admit.

Oh and you are referring to categories, not tags, which threw me off at first. I used the Delta Green category to sort games run in the Delta Green system, which is a standalone RPG and different than CoC games run in the DG setting. I do need add DG tags to God's Teeth, so thanks for reminding me.
Title: Re: RPPR general chat
Post by: Twisting H on August 18, 2016, 09:24:32 PM
First off, thanks for ever considering it. 

Part of the enthusiasm might be my (and others) nostalgia.   Nostalgia is always a detriment to objective judgement so I'm interested in what you think.

Also I think the argument among gamers that "well this can't be played" are in general, spurious. Heard this argument repeatedly about Changeling the Dreaming* and Mage the Ascension, and from my experience there is a compelling and fulfilling way to do it.  By extension the same principle would apply to a Mad Lands game. If Hite can do it, it can be done.   

*PS: I disagree strongly with some of your interpretations about Changeling The Dreaming including the 'changlings could be like anti-vaxxers' but I have yet to opine with quotes from the core book on Patreon. Someday. Not soon. 

Oh and you are referring to categories, not tags, which threw me off at first. I used the Delta Green category to sort games run in the Delta Green system, which is a standalone RPG and different than CoC games run in the DG setting. I do need add DG tags to God's Teeth, so thanks for reminding me.

The imprecision is mine. Thank you for the correction.  The DG category makes perfect sense now that it is it's own system.

Title: Re: RPPR general chat
Post by: Twisting H on August 24, 2016, 03:10:19 PM
Alright. I'm going to gush a bit more about the Mad Lands because I found a review that sells it better than I have.

Excerpts from angelfromanotherpin from The Gaming Den (

A Conan knock-off fighting two flayed horrors in the snow? Fuck yes! The tagline this time is 'Adventures in the Mad Lands,' so you know already that this is just someone else's campaign world. Well, as it happens, that someone else is Robin Laws, or more specifically, Robin Laws after taking the brown acid.

So saddle up, kids. We are going for a ride.

Hey look at that lovely tribal pastoral setting. So peaceful. So idyllic.



It's not until the third paragraph that the game mentions that the whole experience of life in the Mad Lands is shaped by living under the shadow of insane and monstrous gods who can strip the humanity from their victims.

And when the hypothetical reader gets to this: 'But despite it all, the Madlanders keep their nobility, courage, and a fatalistic sense of humor. This is a land where simple survival takes heroism.' Well, then they know what the beast is: a semi-Lovecraftian survival horror fantasy.

But even that doesn't prepare them for what's to come.



The Mad Lands have a specific pantheon of ten gods, and I'm not going to jerk you around: they are a grimderp interpretation of the cast of Winnie-the-Pooh.

That is how good Robin Laws' drugs are.

Eeyore Bax Powu Kag
Bax Powu Kag is an odd sort of moose, with stubby legs, gray fur, and (usually) no antlers. His face is long,his saucer-sized, staring eyes deep and mournful. He's fatter than a normal moose, lacks its characteristic goatee and doesn't seem to like swamps very much.

Bax Powu Kag is very sad, and that sadness seeps out of him and permeates his surroundings and infects anyone who gets too close, becoming pessimistic, depressive, even suicidal. He's not particularly active or hostile, but people who stumble across him can be in serious trouble.

Yes. The rabbit is going to fuck you up.


Bett Agwo
Unlike his fellows, Bett Agwo never appears as a giant; he always manifests as a normal-sized hare. His fur may be white, yellow, or brown; he always appears with a small dark brown patch at his throat.

Bett Agwo is a Dicko the Genie variant. He likes to grant wishes, and they always go all Monkey's Paw, not because Bett Agwo is malevolent (he's genuinely friendly and helpful), but because he's just not very bright or good at using his powers. He is the entire reason that Mad Lander society doesn't recognize good intentions as a mitigating factor for misdeeds.


Like many Madlander gods, Bubzavuv often appears in gigantic form. Sometimes he gets as small as an adult male grizzly. His fur is a very light brown, almost yellow, which distinguishes him from a normal grizzly at this size.

Bubszavuv is basically an ordinary bear with godly powers. Part of that is his frequently forgetting his powers and getting in troubles he could easily get out of if only he remembered he could e.g. change size. He juxtaposes a basically friendly and polite nature with matter-of-factly eating people and most anything else.

Dopod Abwep
Dopod Abwep is the sole humanoid in a pantheon of animal gods. Although he's never less than twelve feet tall, his body is proportioned like that of a seven- or eight-year-old boy. He moves in the gawky, loose-limbed way of a young boy who's just had his first big growth spurt. The Child literally leaks divine power, his entire body glowing and giving off a constant halo of light.

Dopod Abwep is usually found killing time in childish ways. Where Bax Powu Kag is sad, Dopod Abwep is very lonely. He seems to want to make friends, but contact with him is invariably destructive - actually touching him melts human flesh, but just being in his presence damages human social and language skills. He also has a childish temper and throws disastrous tantrums when he doesn't get his way.

Gakox Pezep
He's renowned for his unpredictable dual nature; when on the hunt, he's a mindless snarling beast, capable of nothing but destruction. At other times he appears as a normal-sized cougar who walks upright like a man.

The Cougar jumps miles at a time, and if he's chosen to be particularly big, he causes impact craters when he lands. He's completely unpredictable, switching between his vicious predator and friendlier cuddly form for any reason or no reason, but especially if he smells blood or fear. In particular, his predator aspect is

Kikavo Vo and Kikavo Dat
Descriptions of them in village lore are precise: they have the heads of deer (without antlers) mounted on long thick necks. Their chests and torsos are like those of big potbellied grizzly bears. Their postures are upright, like a man's. Mounted on their shoulders are tiny arms like those of a small child. On the end of each arm are the sharp claws of a wolverine. Their powerful legs are designed like a toad's, but their huge feet resemble those of no known beat, long and flat like planks from a ship deck. With these fearsome appendages they bound across the landscape, leaping miles at a time, smashing anything they touch down on. They anchor these leaps with a thick tail, resembling a shortened squid's tentacle, protruding from their hindquarters. Their freakish bodies are covered from head to tow in thick brown hair like a moose's.

Kikavo Vo is K-Dat's mother and generally bad-tempered, but only gets truly hostile when she feels that her child is in danger, which happens a lot considering that he's divine and invulnerable; when not enraged, she radiates a bliss aura. Kikavo Dat has the mind of a hyperactive child, and plays with humans like human children play with flies and ants. His hyperactivity is infectious.

A huge horned owl, Vuvuti is the only god who doesn't talk, he just shows disturbing visions in the reflections of his gigantic eyes and seems to enjoy showing people things that make a mockery of their values and beliefs.

Zewa Zab
Zewa Zab is an enormous gopher who single-mindedly makes tunnels and only harms people incidentally to that. But the tunnels themselves are dangerous, because inside them time and space are... different. Even collapsed, the tunnels don't renormalize; a river that has a collapsed tunnel for a bed may run uphill. Any ravine in the Mad Lands is suspect.

Though he most often appears as a giant hog the size of a [longhouse], his physical size can vary radically. Sometimes he's merely the size of a grizzly bear; other times he's so huge that the tread of his hoof can crumble a hill into the sea. On the other hand, he sometimes appears as a normal-sized or even tiny pig; in this form he may seem harmless, but all of his destructive power remains intact. Usually his hide is a bright pink, a coloration not found in the boars of the Mad Lands.

Like Bubzavuv, Zuutak is motivated chiefly by hunger. He devours mostly plants, but is untroubled if a person is scooped up as well. Once or twice a year, he despoils a village's crops and is so feared for this act that his name contains a double-vowel sound unique in Mad Lander language it represents a kind of screaming pronunciation.

All the info in this chapter is explicitly common knowledge for PCs, which is nice. Laws shows his genre savvy by never giving the gods any stats - thus, they are not killable. The fact that so many are described with goofy schticks and sharp mental limitations signals that they are not proper MC penis-extensions. Instead they are forces of nature to be survived, or mighty forces to be daringly manipulated. There's a lot of humor to be had with the gods, but the danger they present seasons that humor with fear, and the combination is an unusual one, at least in my RPG experiences.

Also, I feel kind of bad for the lonely kid. He just wants to hug someone who won't dissolve.

Monsters and Beasts

Well, they told him not to take the brown acid, and here's where the bad trip starts. The gods have a certain amount of horror appeal mostly because they're vast power attached to poor impulse control. The Monsters, on the other hand are almost entirely horror appeal. And one of the chief sources of that is their origin: all monsters are former humans, and that brings with it all the usual baggage for that trope, like the sympathy for someone forced to live a monstrous existence, and the anxiety that the same thing could happen to anyone, even you or your loved ones. They all have a 'psychological damage' section, noting the kind of symptoms that exposure to them will bring on in people they traumatize.

Most monster conversions are brought about by contact with the gods, although there are other ways unrepentant murderers can spontaneously become Heightless, self-centered complainers can wake up as Skinless, and so on; naturally all the monster-generating behaviors are forbidden by Mad Lander society. All monsters are defined by their lack of something, defining them as less than human even though they may have great powers. All have a list of examples of how they could be generated: someone stamped flat by one of the Kikavos may become a Boneless, someone dismembered by a swipe of Gakox Pezep's paw may become a Soundless, and so on. A lot of monsters potentially have Shamanic powers (more on those later) which allows them to be a more customizable threat.


A lot like Daybreakers vampires: if they consume enough human blood, they're basically ageless humans. If they start to go hungry, they go emaciated and get a big boost to their physical stats (and some nice damage immunities). If they continue to go hungry, they're in agony and start to permanently lose their minds. Bloodless never really die; even chopped into chunks, their consciousness remains intact and starving forever after.

A flying skin-blanket with eyes, something like a really disturbing airborne manta ray. They have animal intelligence and kill by smothering with their embrace while exuding digestive juices through their underside.

Normal-looking except for their Question-like visage, the faceless are stalkers and jinxes. They imprint on people who come too close and follow them relentlessly, trying to cling to them in a pathetic embrace. All the while, dreadful bad luck affects anyone near the thing, the closer to the Faceless, the worse the luck. Fighting them is difficult because of the misfortune aura, and even dismembered they will continue to follow their target, severed fingers crawling like inchworms, eyeballs rolling through the dirt, intestines slithering like snakes.

Best enemy ever



An eight-foot long foot with proportional shin, with a mouth and a single giant eye on the shin. Completely insane, they mutter all time and seem to have access to all knowledge, in unorganized form, so if you can sneak up near them you can try to sift through their babble for actually useful info.

I'm not even covering all the monsters, the Hunter S Thompson ennui-riddled amoral sorcerer race, the four types of magic or the asshole Stygian-like slavers.

But I will leave you with this...

Thousands of years ago, before the mad gods arrived, the Mad Lands were dominated by a race of 'malevolent jade trapezoids.'

Title: Re: RPPR general chat
Post by: clockworkjoe on August 24, 2016, 06:57:42 PM
are the jade things supposed to be a reference to something or just a random crazy element?
Title: Re: RPPR general chat
Post by: Twisting H on August 29, 2016, 08:33:36 PM
are the jade things supposed to be a reference to something or just a random crazy element?

Good question. Don't know but given the number of references in Mad Lands I wouldn't be surprised if they were. 

Maybe a KARTAS Patron could pose that question.

I don't think its a "Shining Trapezohedron" reference.  Idly I wondered if Robin Laws used jade dice to roll up a bunch of stuff for the campaign world originally and decided to insert his dice as the progenitor race.

Title: Re: RPPR general chat
Post by: clockworkjoe on August 30, 2016, 02:26:22 AM
That's probably it. Having skimmed it now, it has neat ideas but it seems to be basically unplayable as a game. Some of the monsters are definitely usable in other games, but I think the RPPR cast would rebel if I ran Mad Lands.
Title: Re: RPPR general chat
Post by: Twisting H on September 22, 2016, 06:17:19 PM
Well I tried. And I really do appreciate you purchasing and perusing the book because I think it's fantastically creative.
Title: Re: RPPR general chat
Post by: Twisting H on September 22, 2016, 06:22:50 PM
I recall Ross once said that Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP) was something he'd like to try sometime.

The following advice on running WFRP is from fr0id at the Something Awful forums. (

Quote from: fr0id" post="464504175
Awesome! Congrats on finding copies of Winds of Magic and Hero's Call; they're both really hard to get right now. I would really recommend finding:

the Adventurers Toolkit (rare right now but can be found at this link ( )

Signs of Faith (can get a copy at nobleknightgames for a decent price)

and Lure of Power (I can't find a copy anywhere right now; maybe try eBay?)

Here is some basic advice for organization of ALL. THAT. STUFF. I'm going to assume a worst case scenario where in a gleefully mad bit of unboxing you unpunched everything and mixed all of the cards into one massive pile.
If you're cool with it, you can probably get away with storage just being a bunch of ziplock bags (those included in the boxes and some more of your own) to separate everything out. A better solution is getting a couple of BIG (2 or 3 inch) binders, and a bunch of sheets that can hold cards. You can find these at hobby stores, game stores, and maybe even big box stores like walmart. You may also want to look into getting some kind of plastic boxes with dividers to store components in. You can find these boxes at places selling fishing equipment like tackle boxes, places selling tool equipment like boxes to hold screws and so on, or places that sell beading equipment like boxes to hold different beads.
Creature Actions:
Use the cards in this (that list creature actions) to sort out your creature actions into piles for the creature types. You should have every creature and action type listed. Note that some of the cards it lists for creatures are technically meant for PCs to use as well, but, eh, don't worry too much about it. (
Creature Cards
Use this to sort out what creature goes where. Stack these together with the piles of creature cards. (
Creature Standups
Use this component list (it's posted a few posts down in the thread) to help sort out creature standups by product. It can also help you sort the action cards. It will have pictures of all of the standups included by product, so you should be able to sort them into creatures for each chaos guide, and so on. Note that some of the standups do not match the artwork for their associated creature cards, particularly, the undead creatures in the creatures vault.
A lot of the standups will be special NPCs meant for particular adventures. I put all of the standups for each adventure into a separate bag (you should have a bunch of spare baggies from all of these boxed sets). (
Now, you should be able to have all of your piles sorted so that you can quickly pull out a creature's standup, card, and action cards.
Player Stuff
Career Cards
Go ahead and sort these out alphabetically. Create two separate piles, one for the basic careers and one for the advanced careers. One of the mounted knight careers is listed as a basic one, but it should be advanced. You'll be able to tell because it will have access to something like three talent slots rather than the normal two.
Career ability cards
Same thing, sort these out alphabetically.
Talent Cards
Sort them out into three alphabetical piles, for the three types (Tactics, Focus, and something else I can't remember)
Magic Schools
Sort them out alphabetically into a pile
Action Cards
You want to have a basic sorting procedure of Melee, Ranged, Support, Spells, and Blessings. You can also use the listings in the component list from above to sort things out further within those (e.g. separating out social, support, defence, normal, duel of wits, dwarf, teamwork, and rally actions). Here's the link to the component list again. (
The other bits
You'll have a bunch of those little triangle shaped tokens. You can just put them all together in a big pile or sort them out by color. I have mine sorted by color. Stress and fatigue tokens will get their own little pile. Same goes for corruption tokens, character turn counters (the hourglasses), the puzzle pieces, the clear plastic character stands, the little tokens for engineers or runesmiths from blackfire pass, disease cards, condition cards, miscast cards, and so on.
If you're wondering whether something needs to be put in sleeves in a binder, I'd suggest that the only cards that really need to be sleeved in that way are the action cards and creature cards, so that players and GM can easily look through them. I have talents in a binder as well, but that's not as big a deal. The other cards can just be stored in ziplock bags or other containers.
Stuff to Print Out/Have
This site in general has some really amazing WFRP reference material. (

This quick reference sheet is pretty handy for play (

Gitzman's gallery has a few good things. Go ahead and grab the character sheets he uses and print those out. The reference guide by Court Dimon is also very good. (

There is a WFRP FAQ that is made by the publisher to help clarify some things. It, along with new copies of cards that have been errata'ed are here: (
Presenting it all to players
Consider using the pregenerated careers for players from Liber Fanatica. Have your players do the draw 3 choose 1 method and then copy their chosen career from Liber Fanatica ( ( which has 44 of the careers or from this link, which has the careers from later books ( ( Most people really like the Eye for an Eye adventure, and it has a lot of posts on this board for tips on running it. You could also run the Blackfire Pass adventure that FFG has posted on its support page, linked above.

Also, for actually running the game, I would go against the grain and say that you should really give all of the rules a shot before dismissing them or houseruling. Here is some general advice on things.
The funny dice
Your players are your friends. Ask them what they think should happen. As a general rule, have the players say what the good things that happen are, while the GM says bad things. Don't be married to that though. Be willing to offer cool ideas to players or listen if they have cool ideas.
You may also find that it's often easier to come up with good things that happen rather than bad things. Use this list as an idea of things you can have happen when banes or chaos stars come up.
Gain special attention of a monster, trigger a danger in the area
Reveal an unwelcome truth
Show signs of an approaching threat
Deal fatigue/stress, or cause a wound or a critical wound
Use up player resources
Turn player action back on them
Separate them
Create an opportunity that fits someone's abilities
Show a downside of a player's character
Offer an opportunity, with or without cost
Put someone in a spot
Add extra requirements for an action and ask the player if they want to continue
Fortune Points
These need to be handed out like candy. Any time your players move the story along, hand out  a fortune point. If a player has a terribly unlucky roll, hand out a fortune point to balance karma. If a player makes everyone laugh, hand out a fortune point. When you can tell everyone is really getting into it, hand out  a fortune point. When a player really engages the rules, hand out a fortune point.
The game moved away from this a bit, but fortune points should also be spent to let players control the story a bit. In general, if a player asks you for something that you're not sure about (e.g. is this gun loaded, was I wearing armor when we got attacked, is their a blacksmith in this town) tell them the answer is yes if they spend a fortune point or two. I also have a HOUSE RULE that players can spend a fortune point to reroll an entire roll if it washes out with 0 success, 0 banes or boons, etc.
The party sheet
A lot of people have trouble using the party sheet effectively. Let players know that they can use it with their talents to give everyone extra powers. One piece of advice is to not let the players pick a party sheet until they've completed an adventure together so they know how their group works together. As a GM, feel free to add tension to the party sheet for any time when the players get in each others way. When a group splits up, add some tension. When someone screws up badly, consider adding tension. When someone steals a kill, add some tension. When characters disagree, add tension. Sometimes you should just add tension when the group is collectively suffering, such as from seeing something really crazy or suffering through a swamp. In general, any time you feel like something is affecting the entire group, go ahead and increase party tension as well.
Corruption Points, Diseases, Etc.
Sometimes you may plan something out when this is going to come up. Other times, you can use these as a result of rolling a chaos star, or lots of boons, especially during encounters. As a general rule, give the player a roll to resist if you're using banes, and be willing to just automatically inflict something if they roll a chaos star. If this happens, don't actually have the player roll for the disease or corruption until the encounter is over, just cackle and tell them "oh, you'll see" when they ask what the chaos star does.
Players will often have a bit of trouble using the stances. They have specific rules in encounter mode, but if you're in story mode, tell the players that you as the GM will decide whether to award them a single stance die or not depending on what kind of action they're taking.
Extra Successes
Sometimes you'll end up in a case where a player rolls a bunch of extra successes and their action has nothing for them to spend them on. As a HOUSE RULE, consider letting them trade successes for boons at a rate of 2:1, i.e. spend two successes to gain one boon. Another HOUSE RULE is to let them spend extra successes on a Melee or Ranged attack (not magic) to deal 1 extra damage per success, to a maximum of their expertise level in melee or ranged.
Encounter Mode and Story Mode
The main difference between encounter mode and story mode is that story mode is typically not going to use most of the cards, while encounter mode is going to be using the action cards to resolve things. In general, when a player wants to try using one of his or her cards, strongly consider moving things to encounter mode (this includes in social situations). When you move to encounter mode, consider what the "win" conditions are for it, so that you know when to end.
The Puzzle Piece Tracker
This thing is absolutely your friend. Use it in an encounter mode as your win condition. Maybe players need to succeed at  X number of rolls to win an encounter. Maybe they're racing against someone else to do that. Maybe the players have a limited amount of time to find something. Basically, use this any time you want to keep track of something going on in the game.
Opposed Rolls
A lot of people don't like the way the opposed rolling system works. It makes it very hard to win an opposed roll if your skill in it is low. However, what most people don't realize is that this is because almost all social rolls are opposed, and that this rule is basically making sure that players with high social skills are much better at it than those with low ones. So go ahead and use the regular rule from it. Also, keep in mind that you can also do contests, which are just having both players roll a skill and seeing who gets more successes. You can also look into the rules for doing big combined effort rolls from Hero's Call.
Running Story Mode
Most of this is going to be resolved by basic skill rolls. If you're in doubt on how to interpret the dice, either ask your players if they have any ideas, or hand out stress/fatigue. Again, don't let players use their action cards in story mode. Tell them to just put their hands face down. If someone wants to use an action, go ahead and switch to encounter mode. Feel free to use all of the other bits for the game, however. The game gives some vague information on how to recharge cards, because you can technically use them in story mode, but it's not really a good idea to do so. Unless it really makes sense for a card to be used and you can't figure out a good reason to switch to encounter mode (sometimes you just don't want it to take that long to resolve something), stick to just using skill rolls. If a player is trying to use magic in story mode, try to limit them to cantrips (i.e. suggest that they should make a roll to cast a cantrip to do an action rather than use their card). In general, though, if you can think of a good goal for it, try switching to encounter mode at times when you weren't planning to. You may be surprised by what occurs. Also, try to not have too many encounters happening, as it lets players recover stress and fatigue too easily.
IMPORTANT: Stress and Fatigue should not really every be removed during story mode, unless your players are going to sleep and getting a full night's sleep (why are you letting your players get away this easily?).
Running Encounters
This is your time for things to shine. Remind the players that encounters are the point of the game where things are really getting closest to having tactical gameplay. It's their job to look at their cards and use them at the best time. Remind them of their card to remove stress and fatigue. Make sure your players know the Perform a Stunt card is there to let them try whatever crazy thing they want to do. If they use that card, feel free to make things fairly difficult for them, but not impossible.
You NEED to be spending this, and quickly. Those monsters will either be dead or that NPC will give up what the players want from him at the end of the encounter. Spend, spend, spend! This is your time to make things hurt for the players.
Rally Steps
A good rule of thumb for these is to have them occur at the end of a round that you have run out of A/C/E points. Also, you can have them occur at thematically appropriate points, like the turn that reinforcements show up, at the start of the round that is going to decide who wins and who loses, etc.
Easily Forgotten Rules
-Make sure you add the Toughness of a character to it's soak value (the listed soak value does not include toughness)
-Make sure you add strength to melee damage or dexterity to range (same as above)
-You are fatigued as soon as fatigue exceeds ANY physical stat, distressed when stress exceeds ANY mental stat, and strained when BOTH of the above are true
-You check for insanity both when a character is strained and takes stress/fatigue OR when willpower is distressed and you take a stress

More play aids courtesy of ImpactVector. (

Quote from: ImpactVector" post="464521045
When running this adventure I used some clue cards someone on the FFG forums made to help with the investigation. They were really neat. It gamified the mystery quite a bit and maybe made it too easy, but that's better than the typical RPG mystery where the players try to read the DM/scenario writer's mind with very little to go on while trying to sort actual clues from the herrings.

Clue Cards (http://"")
Usage Guide/GM Key (http://"")

I'll have to take a look at the rest of your post when I have time to reorganize. I've already done a few of the things you list (I've got action card binders and token storage bins), but you've got some good ideas on how to sort them a little better.

Title: Re: RPPR general chat
Post by: Twisting H on September 22, 2016, 06:23:43 PM
Further fr0id advice

Quote from: fr0id" post="464548609
I fucking love WFRP Third Edition and will gladly hype it to everyone. Damn shame that it's becoming mostly unavailable. A lot of people complained about the supplements having some really important rules for things like disease/mutation/serious wounds/certain careers, but that to me just made it feel like the supplements brought actual value to the game. Unfortunately now those supplements have been out of print for years.

Here's a rundown of almost everything you can buy for the game:

Main expansions (each of these contains several new careers, new actions cards, new talents, new wounds and other special cards, and cardboard standups for creatures along with new rules and components for those rules, fluff related to the expansion theme, and an adventure)

Signs of Faith (expanded/full rules for priest characters, rules for disease, rules for potion making, Nurgle monsters)
Winds of Magic (expanded/full rules for wizards, rules for corruption, Tzeench monsters)
Omens of War (rules for horse riding, martial careers, serious wound rules, Khorne monsters)
Lure of Power (rules for noble characters, social combat, Slaanesh monsters)
Heros Call (rules for high level chaacters, new starting races, using the special dice to resolve an entire encounter outcome (high level monsters)
Black fire Pass (rules new dwarf careers, crafting rules)

Other Good Supplements

Adventurers Kit (action cards for adding a 4th player, new careers and actions)
Creatures Guide (big bestiary of monsters, good to buy in pdf)
Creatures Vault (standups and cards for all of the monsters; note that the core box, signs of faith, winds of magic, the edge of night and gathering storm adventures do not come with cards for the creatures in them, but all later releases do; this comes with cards for all of the creatures in those, plus more)
Gamemasters Kit (the only additional physical parts are special cards that act like party sheets for NPCs and a mediocre GMs screen)

The second wave of guides and vaults (wherein FFG pulled a D&D 4th Edition Essentials and tried to re-release the game line to appeal to groggy people who didn't want components)

Players Vault: contains all of the physical bits from the core box that players would use
GM's vault: contains all of the physical bits from the core box that the GM would use, plus a booster sets worth of dice

As far as I know, if you buy the players vault and gms vault, you'd have all of the physical bits from the core box other than less dice. This may be a better buy for you if you're fine with using a dice roller and already have the rulebook Pdfs.

Players Guide: much more well written version of the core rules, plus rules for playing without the physical bits using the signs of faith, adventurers toolkit, and winds of magic expansion. Worth having in PDF. Doesn't cover ALL of the core rules.
GMs guide: more well written version of the core rules that has the rest of the rules from the core game plus the adventure from it.

My recommendations for purchase? Must-Haves are the core set,4 main expansions (Signs, Winds, Omens, Lure), the adventurers toolkit, the creatures vault, and hero's call.

Also, here's a quick explanation on why the WFRP setting is actually awesome:

Long time WFRP players already know this, but for those of you who don't, WFRP is basically a grim and gritty medieval fantasy world painted in bright cartoony neon. WFRP is a game that has a sense of humor about how grim it is. Yes, Steve can get rotleg and limp around for weeks, but he can also get a bad case of gas leading him to take social penalties. WFRP assumes a play style that I think is how most people actually play RPGs. It's all about the GM doing over the top stuff to the player characters who in turn come up with over the top schemes to defuse it. The WFRP setting is one that is actually meant for wild player behavior to happen, so long as it is in the bounds of a gonzo reality. Ever noticed how some of the most memorable Call of Cthulhu sessions were ones where a doctor specialized in headbutt and headbutted all the skeletons to death? WFRP as a setting encourages that kind of thing. Found a cult in the heart of the temple? Bribe the guards, murder the inhabitants, then burn down the building for good measure. Something really important in the core book is its talk about the economy. WFRP is a setting of class stratification, with dirt poor, middle class, and ultra wealthy. The book calls out the fact that as adventurers, the players are meant to blur the lines between these classes, and interact with them all. In addition, the book flat out says that the reason players turn to adventuring is to make money. That's it. Instant motivation, and one that keeps in with typical player behavior. Go in, blow stuff up, get paid. You're not going to find another fantasy setting that so accurately captures the sense of humor in roleplaying. This is a game for the group that doesn't want to play a super self-serious setting, and instead just wants to make up a fun fantasy story with dark humor.
Title: Re: RPPR general chat
Post by: clockworkjoe on September 23, 2016, 01:31:38 AM
Interesting stuff. I don't have the edition with the cards and boxed set though. First FFG WH rpg I am going to run is Only War and I have no idea when I will run that.
Title: Re: RPPR general chat
Post by: CADmonkey on November 25, 2016, 07:19:11 AM
Edit: wrong thread, can't find an option to delete this post?
Title: Re: RPPR general chat
Post by: akshaypatel42 on January 05, 2017, 01:19:23 AM
I got the feeling the adventure was meant to start in media res, with how the PCs got started on this particularly quest being a background element and not really critical to the adventure.  Sort of like how ANH starts with Leia's ship under attack, with the reason (stolen Death Star plans) being explained via dialogue after the battle has been resolved.
Title: Re: RPPR general chat
Post by: CapitainLazar on January 15, 2017, 10:44:02 PM
So, question, will you ever run a video campaign of Invisible Sun? I remember at least one of you backed the Kickstarter, and I know that you have posted videos before, even if the RPPR Podcast channel is pretty barren. Is that something you could or would do, or is it just something that you'll hoard to yourself, as there's a game outside the game?

Other question, any tips for making a trip to Gencon that doesn't totally break the bank?
Title: Re: RPPR general chat
Post by: clockworkjoe on January 16, 2017, 12:01:06 AM
I'm not aware of any of us backing Invisible Sun. I couldn't afford it at the time. I'm not opposed to running Invisible Sun but I'd have to read the game before I make any decisions. As far as I know, the rules are not even finalized yet.

Gen Con cost saving tips:

Get roommates for your hotel room to split costs. Use Uber or a taxi or the shuttle service so you can get a room at the airport hotel and then drive in each day.

Bring food from a grocery store and eat that instead of eating at expensive restaurants near the con center.

If you live within driving distance, consider driving instead of flying especially if you can get several people to split gas costs.

The biggest expenses for Gen Con are travel, housing, and food. If you can swing those costs, you can afford to go. It's nice to be able to buy new games there but most of the events at Gen Con are free or very cheap. RPPR fans can meet up to play tons of new games.

Title: Re: RPPR general chat
Post by: CapitainLazar on January 16, 2017, 10:21:43 AM
Ah, I see, must have just misheard you talking about it. It was on the Kickstarter podcast with Caleb, I must have flipped a few things around as I listened to it.

Thanks for the tips, I live in Ohio, so I'll start calculating that out.
Title: Re: RPPR general chat
Post by: Twisting H on February 18, 2017, 03:49:35 PM
Hey Ross,

Are you gents going to have any more podcasts with the Mutant : Year Zero system? Or Fallout-esq post apoc scenarios (to differentiate from the Red Markets post apoc series)?
Title: Re: RPPR general chat
Post by: clockworkjoe on February 21, 2017, 06:39:15 PM
We have 1 game of Genlab Alpha recorded and plan to record another then maybe do a mini campaign using both systems. However, scheduling has been an issue - several people have gotten sick, travel plans etc.
Title: Re: RPPR general chat
Post by: Twisting H on May 30, 2017, 07:23:32 PM
Hey Ross, is the Unknown Armies episode a one shot or the beginning of a campaign?
Title: Re: RPPR general chat
Post by: clockworkjoe on June 06, 2017, 02:49:26 AM
A one shot but set in the same city (Kansas City) that our upcoming campaign is also set in.
Title: Re: RPPR general chat
Post by: Twisting H on June 18, 2017, 08:43:37 PM
This question is for Caleb. 

Where did you first find "The Spider" by Hanns Heinz Ewers and "Sredni Vashtar" by Saki?

I was rummaging around a bookstore today and found an anthology of Weird fiction that had both short stories. This is the only anthology mind you that I have found where these stories are mentioned.

The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories edited by  Jeff VanderMeer and Ann VanderMeer. (
Title: Re: RPPR general chat
Post by: clockworkjoe on June 19, 2017, 01:08:03 AM
Yeah, Caleb has that book and I believe he learned of both stories from it.
Title: Re: RPPR general chat
Post by: Yoba on August 27, 2017, 11:33:24 PM

I just wanted to thank everyone again for putting on the live recording at gencon and the game design workshop panel. My birthday was that saturday and getting to sit in on those and getting that base raiders proof copy was a great present for me. It was a blast!
Title: Re: RPPR general chat
Post by: clockworkjoe on September 01, 2017, 01:35:53 AM

I just wanted to thank everyone again for putting on the live recording at gencon and the game design workshop panel. My birthday was that saturday and getting to sit in on those and getting that base raiders proof copy was a great present for me. It was a blast!

Glad I could give you a birthday gift!