You Aren’t Doing it Wrong

May 23, 2011
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Role-playing games are unlike any other game. RPG systems provide a framework defining suggested abilities and limits. The framework is commonly referred to as rules. Most non-RPG games provide a fixed number of rules that must be followed to play the game. RPG’s encourage the user to be creative and to change the mechanics, if desired. No matter how a RPG is implemented, the goal remains the same: have fun.

When you build your campaign you will tailor it to suit your personal tastes. In the heat of play it will slowly evolve into a compound of your personality and those of your better participants, a superior alloy. – E. Gary Gygax, 1979

A random selection of six groups all playing the same system is likely to reveal one thing: the implementation of the system would be different in each group. The differences might be slight. One group could be playing a game with in-depth story arcs involving political intrigue amid the nobility in-fighting after the death of a king. The next might be delving through dozens of levels of an underground labyrinth filled with traps, twists and a bevy of monsters. A third may be solely undertaking adventures all within the confines of a large, walled city. The fourth, fifth and sixth may be well be venturing to the stars, ambling amid the planes or even leading a fleet of pirate ships. All different but still playing a common system and having fun.

Those same groups likely vary as much on rules as setting and plot. Some may allow only only the core mechanics of the original system books. Others will permit any expansion published for the system. Still others could have modified the original system to the point it barely resembles the initial offering. One implementation may be a blending of two or more systems into something entirely new. The groups have chosen an implementation which works for the people in the game.

According to a few, five of the six groups must be playing the system wrong. To the majority of gamers, each and every group is entirely correct. The campaign or mechanics may not be of interest to the naysayer but no egregious violation has occurred. Egregious violations are impossible if the group present at the table agrees on the game at hand. Even if not everyone at the table agrees, many players will agree to disagree and still play. The individuals know that its just a game and in the coming weeks, something more akin to their interpretation is likely to be played. Alternatively, the player can seek other like minded gamers to start a new game based on his or her preferred implementation.

As a participant in the game, I would not care to have anyone telling me exactly what must go into a campaign and how it must be handled; if so, why not play some game like chess? — E. Gary Gygax

No matter how you choose to play, I say go forth and do so. Cruise through the chaos of randomness then saunter through significant stories. Slay the dragon or be killed by a street urchin. Flip things around as you see fit. Play for fun. Self-proclaimed pundits be damned.

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Random Tables Contest – 1 Week To Go

May 23, 2011
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From the constantly late to the party file. Here’s a nice contest — Mark

From calithena

Hey, old school bloggers – it would be deeply appreciated if you could give this a shout out on your blogs, with two weeks to go. (Also, submit your tables!) 🙂

Fight On! and Magician’s Manse are Proud to Announce –

A Contest for Fantasy Gaming Tables!

Entry Deadline: May 31, 2011

Send your random tables via email with the header TABLES to tombowings at gmail dot com!

Rules: Maximum 3 tables per entrant, OR 2 tables per entrant if either or both of them are ‘multiple tables’ tables (e.g. a connected set of dungeon or wilderness tables).

For some gamers, there is nothing – not even a good ruleset – that beats a good collection of random tables. So we’ve decided to run a contest to put one together!

By submitting your table, you give us permission to re-print that table in the upcoming Fight On! Big Book of Tables (or whatever we eventually decide to call it). You continue to own your own table and all rights to it other than our right to publish it in various iterations of that book and may re-use or re-publish it elsewhere as you see fit. Likewise, tables you have already published elsewhere may be submitted to this contest so long as you still have the rights to them to give to us to publish in this way.

We are looking for overall quality, game-usability, creativity, better mousetraps, and/or gonzo! Our Judges include S. John Ross, Jeff Rients, Tim Kask, Paul Czege, and Ian Burns, as well as Ignatius Umlaut of Fight On!


Grand Prize: 1 Roll on the Gold Table, 1 Roll on the Gems & Jewelry Table, 1 Roll on the Magic Items Table, a Trade Paperback Copy of Roll the Bones, and a set of Dwarven Metal Dice provided by DEI Games (

Second Prize: 1 Roll on the Gold Table, 1 Roll on the Gems & Jewelry Table, and 1 Roll on the Magic Items Table

Third Prize: 1 Roll on each of any Two Different Tables Below (your pick)

First Honorable Mention: 1 Roll on the Gems and Jewelry Table or the Magic Table (your pick). All prizes except FHM guaranteed; we will use this category for entries that were extremely painful to exclude from the top three.

Honorable Mention: All honorable mentions and all prizewinners above will receive a free PDF copy of the Fight On! Big Book of Tables (when it comes out) and a free PDF of a randomly determined issue of Fight On! magazine! And we intend to give Honorable Mention to ALL submitted tables meant for eventual inclusion in the Big Book of Tables, so there will be a lot of these prizes to go around!

All product prizes below are provided by Fight On! and do not represent the endorsement of or cooperation with the authors, publishers, or manufacturers of said products, although we like them all and think they’re cool guys.

Gold Table (d100) – USD:
01-25 $25
26-50 $50
51-75 $75
76-95 $100
96-99 $250
00 $500

Gems & Jewelry Table (d100) – only one of each, rolled in order of prize received:
01-30 About 30 or so mostly unpainted old-time Grenadier minis, mostly from the Dungeon Explorers and Tomb of Spells Sets
31-40 Beautifully Painted Owlbear, Otyugh, and Ogre Mage Minis (sculptor unknown, but I think they’re old-tyme)
41-50 Provocatively Painted Marilith and Succubus (Marilith is Reaper, not sure about Succubus)
51-60 Battle Scene 1: 4 Beautifully Painted Crocodile Games Wargods of Hyperborea Wendigo (Yeti) Warriors versus 6 Well Painted Privateer Press Hordes Everblight Archers and Swordsmen
61-70 Battle Scene 2: 4 Excellently Painted Tom Meier Thunderbolt Mountain Elves on Foot versus 4 Excellently Painted Tom Meier Thunderbolt Mountain Orcs
71-75 Battle Scene 3: 3 Excellently Painted Tom Meier Thunderbolt Mountain Elves on Horseback versus 3 Excellently Painted Emperor’s Choice Miniatures Goblin Grey Knights Mounted on Air Sharks
76-85 Against the Giants 1: Exceptionally Painted Otherworld Miniatures Hill Giant and Stone Giant
86-95 Against the Giants 2: Well Painted Ral Partha Frost Giant and Cave Giant
96-99 Random Dwarven Forge Custom Dungeon Piece: 1 Wall of Fire Short Passage, 2 Moss & Fungus L-Shaped Passage with Mushroom, 3 4×6 Cerberus Fountain Floor Piece, 4 Room Corner with Banner and Crystal Ball. (May reroll if you don’t use DF.)
00 Beautifully Painted Complete Ral Partha Wasteland Raider Set

Magic Items Table (d100) – all are physical print copies:
01-03 $50 donation to Friends of Starship Warden in your name
04-06 Apocalypse World
07-09 Arduin: World of Khaas Worldbook (First Hardback Printing, OOP)
10-12 Backswords & Bucklers AND Ruins & Ronin
13-15 Book of Ebon Bindings
16-18 B/X Companion
19-21 Carcosa
22-24 Charnel Crypt of the Sightless Serpent
25-27 Dragons at Dawn
28-30 Drowning and Falling AND Elfs
31-33 Dungeon Alphabet
34-36 Empire of the Petal Throne (HOG Reproduction)
37-39 Encounter Critical
40-42 Exquisite Corpses
43-45 Fight On! Magazine, 1d6 Randomly Determined Print Issues
46-48 Grinding Gear AND Weird New World
49-51 How to Host a Dungeon
52-54 Inferno: 1980
55-57 Majestic Wilderlands
58-60 Miscellaneum of Cinder AND Ye Olde Book of Spells
61-63 Mutant Future
64-66 My Life with Master
67-69 Mythmere’s Adventure Design Deskbook I and II
70-72 Necropolis (Necromancer Edition), autographed by Gary Gygax, slightly used
73-75 Petty Gods (if it is out, otherwise Cursed Chateau)
76-78 Realm of Crawling Chaos
79-81 Secret of Smuggler’s Cove AND Skull Mountain
82-84 Sorcery & Super Science
85-87 Spellcraft & Swordplay
88-90 Stonehell Dungeon
91-00 Trade Paperback copy of Roll the Bones AND Roll Again, ignoring results of 91-00

So what are you waiting for? Let’s see your tables!

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