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Altering pacifism -hindrance in your games

Pacifism hindrance

Pacifism is a type of hindrance/disadvantage/flaw that works very differently in different types of games. In most games I play or run, no-one would take the pacifism unless there's a work-a-round against it's limitations - and I can't blame anyone for that, as these games usually have at least one combat each session, and usually everyone's most eagerly waiting for those combats! And they often are the most exciting parts of a game session.

Character creation: Flaws make the character

"My character is ready. What? Oh, I need to get some flaws to pay off all the extra stuff I've already picked. But my character is perfect... Now, what flaws would have least effect on my character?"

Sounds familiar? All too familiar to me. Most of my players want to think of all those munchkiny statistics and features first, and then, if the system has a mechanism for negative features (flaws, hindrances, disadvantages, whatever they are called), they try to find something that doesn't hinder their character. I confess, I'm guilty of that too.

Diorama: Winter fight

Completed diorama photo

Completed diorama photo

This small diorama -photo was made for a small maxminis -competition. Some terrain props I've made before were used in the diorama, and potato flour to make the ground look more authentic. Sky was taken from a photo and added to it using Gimp.

Below is the original photo, with original background:

From terrain models to map tiles (and view to a few map tile sets)

Star tiles by E-Z dungeons, manufacturer's picture

There's a few words I'd like to share with you about using 3d-terrain and/or maps/tiles - what to use and why, and share my experiences about some maps and tiles I've used. And while I love modelling and creating cool terrain setups in my games, I've been moving towards using map tiles in my games instead of 3d props, and there's several reasons for that, which I'm going to tell you more about below. I've also added a few review-ish about tiles/terrains on this post.

Make your players love their character's flaws

What flaws do you think this character has?

In a recent discussion about roleplaying mechanics I heard an opinion mentioning that character flaws should be a disadvantage and therefore rewarding well for playing them isn't something that should be done. My way of looking at flaws is completely opposite. While flaws are in general supposed to be a tool of balancing (or in practice min-maxing) characters, they work best as a tool to bring atmosphere, good story and drama to a game. And for this purpose, they work best if players want their flaws to cause them problems.

Master of Orion fan's view to Eclipse

Eclipse game situation on the map

I've now been able to play 2 games of Eclipse, and I can tell it definitely feels like Master of Orion! This game, which is currently #12 on lists of boardgamegeek, is not a board game for everyone, but for those who like it it's really excellent! It may be a bit too heavy to be casual fun game, especially because of it's setup time - but it's still really lightweight to be a game it represents. There are plentys of reviews of the game if you google for such, so I'll mention about the game basics only briefly.

Review: Beasts & Barbarians for Savage Worlds

An amazon warrior from Beasts & Barbarians

Brief review for the hasty: Beasts & Barbarians is a sword & sorcery setting that has a feel of familiarity - perhaps because many civilizations have been inspired by historical civilizations. Carefully spiced up with originality, combined with classic sword & sorcery elements and tied together with a believable history this setting make a very tasty stew.

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