Legends of the Wulin

Short shout-out: about 6 years ago a Wuxia game called Weapons of the Gods was released, a tie-in with a Hong-Kong comic of the same title. The game was amazingly awesome, although it did suffer from a little “first-edition”-itis, and a few mechanics here or there that needed some work.

Unfortunately the game hasn’t had any updates or supplements for a while, and from what I understand the license for the Weapons of the Gods name/setting have been revoked. That’s okay, however, because some of the creators of WotG have created a new game–Legends of the Wulin–using a revised version of the game system and their own setting, and it will be available for pre-order on Wednesday (Dec. 15)!

Check it out — Legends of the Wulin Pre-Sale

Follow Up to Pathfinder MMO Announcement

A quick follow up to the Pathfinder MMO announcement, I recalled that the podcast Fear the Boot (a show I recommend on general principles, as their GMing advice largely mirrors my own) did an interview with Ryan Dancey a few months ago, wherein he talks about his thoughts on the state of the RPG industry and the development of MMOs. If you’re interested in what shape the Pathfinder MMO may take, that interview may be a good starting point.

Paizo announces Pathfinder MMO

Check it out.

Pathfinder Online’s journey is just beginning. We’ve started a brand-new company called Goblinworks to create the game. At the moment, it’s owned by myself, Ryan, Paizo, and Mark Kalmes. Mark is one of the top tech guys in the MMO field, and he’ll be Goblinworks’ Chief Technical Officer. (And we’re currently looking for additional investors to help us move forward with Pathfinder Online.)

Traditionally, projects like this are developed in secrecy, with information leaking out in whispers for months before a formal announcement. But we don’t want our loyal customers to find out about Pathfinder Online through rumored half-truths; we want you in on the ground floor.

A lot of big picture work has already been done on Pathfinder Online, and it’s going to be a bit different from your traditional fantasy MMO. It’s going to focus around the characters you create, in a world that will grow out of your interactions, developing the way you choose to develop it. It takes place in the River Kingdoms of Golarion, with our own Kingmaker Adventure Path providing some of the inspiration. There will be an overarching storyline, and dungeons aplenty to explore, but where Pathfinder Online is going to thrive is in the ability of each of you to leave your mark on the world. Do you want to build a castle that you own and control? Go for it. Want to start a town and rally folks to your banner? Do that. Do you want to ally with the neighboring villages to form a new nation—or perhaps wage war on them instead? The choice is yours. Want to become the most feared bandit in the River Kingdoms? The path is available. Want to become the greatest armorer that Golarion has ever seen? All it takes is hard work. If you can imagine doing something in the world of Golarion, we want you to be able to do that in Pathfinder Online.

The fun is just starting! Please use the discussion thread here on paizo.com to interact with Ryan, Mark, myself, and the rest of the Goblinworks crew as we start this new adventure. We’re going to be very interactive with you, the Pathfinder community, because we want this game to be YOURS. Stay tuned for blogs, trailers, and other teasers as we move forward. In true Paizo fashion, we will keep you guys in the loop, and listen to your feedback as we progress.

Things have come a long way since Akalabeth. Join me for the ride and help make Pathfinder Online the best MMORPG ever!

Lisa Stevens
CEO, Paizo Publishing
COO, Goblinworks

Actual Play: The Group Contract

I left off last time having created a campaign outline for myself which included the premise of the game, the roles of the protagonists and antagonists, and a number of adventure seeds for myself. When combined with the notes I’ve made regarding the genre and tone I’m shooting for with the game, I have enough infrastructural material that I’m ready to move on to the next step: introducing the game to the players.

The way I do that is with a Group Contract, which introduces the players to some of the precepts I laid out in the campaign outline and gives some information regarding character construction. Fortunately for me, the game system I’ve selected–Hunter: The Vigil–begins with the assumption that the party will be more or less in line with what I’d already intended. Had we been playing a game such as Dungeons and Dragons or even Vampire there would have been a great deal more latitude in terms of what the “purpose” of the party is within the game.

Most of the Group Contract is therefore filling in the players on the exact structure of their group within the conspiracy I’ve created, providing them with goal posts for their character concepts, and outlining what I’d like out of them as far as background material is concerned.

Continue reading “Actual Play: The Group Contract”

Actual Play: The Campaign Outline

After brainstorming some basic concepts and a list of references, and figuring out my system and setting, I’m ready to hash out a campaign outline. In it I’m going to lay out the premise of the game, identify the genre and tone of the campaign, and identify the major players. Some of this information I will share with the other players, while other bits I’ll keep to myself.

The important thing is that I’m creating a reference document that I can use to get a feeling for the campaign and guide my thoughts while writing adventures, not step-by-step list of where I think the campaign will go.

1. The Premise

The premise of the game is that the PCs are all people who have discovered the supernatural world that exists shrouded behind the mask of everyday reality. This is a darker world than our own, and the things which occupy it are brutal and prey on humanity on a daily basis. Rather than run and hide, you have chosen to step into this world with both feet, and hunt the monsters than would hunt mankind. Continue reading “Actual Play: The Campaign Outline”

Actual Play: System and Setting

Last week I gathered my basic thoughts together, so this week I can sit down and put together the campaign outline that I’ll be presenting to the players. The goal is to get everyone on the same page as far as tone of the campaign, and everyone will be able to ponder character concepts in advance of receiving the Group Contract, which will expand upon the role of the party in the campaign world, and also present any relevant information the players will need to make their characters.

Looking at the list of titles I came up with, there were a lot of “fighting the supernatural” themes: Nightwatch, Hellblazer, BRPD, Supernatural, Men in Black, and Predator all have a facing off against supernatural (or extraterrestrial–basically the same thing) threats. There were also a few titles involving conspiracies and existential wars: The Invisibles, Planetary, The X-Files, Assassin’s Creed, and Dollhouse all play off themes of conspiracy and power. The last few: Eternal Darkness, House of Leaves, and the biggie Call of C’thulhu are all on the horror end of the supernatural genre.

True Blood stands out as an exception to those three categories, except insofar as it is kind of a kitchen sink of the modern supernatural genre–essentially the World of Darkness with the numbers filed off. As much as I may not want to run Delta Green proper, I think the idea of a team of badass humans kicking ass and taking names has sufficiently invaded my psyche to the extent that this should be the premise of my game. Continue reading “Actual Play: System and Setting”