The Lie You Tell Your Character

Creating a character in D&D is a hell of a lot of fun. You can be almost anything, from a devil-spawn who has renounced their heritage to become a champion of good, to a ferocious gnome barbarian with a penchant for silly hats, to a good ol’ fashioned human who just wants to fling some fireballs. The mechanical process of making a character in D&D is, to quote Matt Colville, something that’s fun to do if you already know how to do it. But the less mechanical side, the “fluff” as it’s known, is a huge part of the fun too. This is where you can get into the guts of what makes your character tick, where they come from, what they believe, who they’re close to, and all the spaces in between. And wonderfully with the advent of Backgrounds in 5th Edition D&D, this fluffy part of character creation has been rolled into the mechanics too. Not a huge amount, but just enough to force even the most number-crunching power-gamer to think about who their character is.

So with that in mind I’d like to delve into the downside of your character – let’s talk about flaws.

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12 Games of Christmas – Part 2

Ding dong indeed! So here we are with only a few short days (today being the shortest!) until it’s Christmas. Huzzah! Let’s celebrate by finding the best games to backstab and murder your family and friends without actually doing so and thereby avoiding Christmas prison (which is reserved for murderers and those who riffle shuffle my cards).

Continuing with our 12 Games of Christmas, below are my (Emmet) choices for the best games to play with your family and friends over the holidays. The last few years pur families have created a little tradition of meeting up on Christmas Eve, ordering a takeaway, and playing some games. As my nieces have gotten older we’ve been able to introduce more complex games to our game nights, but even so the games here are very approachable and easy to pick up and play. These games will work with anyone from the age of 7 and up I’d say so they’re perfect for a family night tucked up with hot chocolate and mince pies.

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12 Games of Christmas – Part 1

It’s that time of year, Christmas, holidays, season of joy and generosity! That magical few days of the year when we go and spend time with family and loved ones, sharing our stories, dreams and hopes. Sometimes though, you don’t want to do any of that and instead just play some games. So here we are, sharing our 12 Games of Christmas, 6 games each which Paddy and Emmet feel could be brought out with the family at any time, that are easy enough to pick up, that everyone can enjoy. One or two might surprise, one or two probably won’t, but read on and see what you think!

We were originally going to do these lists in a podcast, but illness, busy work schedules and the inevitable overloading of pre-Christmas events have made recording a podcast nearly impossible. So here we are in written format!

Without further ado, here are Paddy’s 6 games! Continue reading

Adventures in Design

The reasons myself and Paddy chose the name “The Crafty Players” may be obvious: we enjoy craft beer and like playing board games. But part of the reason behind the name was  to reflect that both myself and Paddy like to make things. He’s mentioned before in blog posts and podcasts that he enjoys making board games and that he has a few prototypes in the works (one of which almost made one of our friends cry, so it’s gotta be good!), and while I also have notes for my board game opus scrawled across dozens of pages, at the moment the “crafty” side of me is focused on creating and writing adventures for Dungeons & Dragons. The first of these, titled The Graveyard Shift, is free on DriveThruRPG now! With that in mind, this week I’d like to talk about how I approach writing adventures and I’m going to use my current work-in-progress adventure as an example. So strap in because we’re venturing deep into the depths of my DM-Brain!

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Live To Board

Board games have given me a lot. These simple objects made of cardboard, wood and plastic have given me a way to regularly engage with my oldest, dearest friends in a new way. They’ve helped make me some new friends. Through this blog and through trying my hand at design, board games have also given me a creative outlet, something I’ve felt was missing in my life. Yes, board games have given me a lot. But could they give me more? Continue reading

Dungeons & Dragon Age – Part 2

Alrighty, so I’m back with the second part on my conversion of the Dragon Age RPG from Green Ronin over to 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons. Some of the things that I discuss here refer to points I made in my previous article so if you haven’t read that I suggest checking it out firstA bit of a warning: this post really gets into the nuts and bolts of 5th Edition D&D monster creation. If you’re a new DM I’d recommend following along with the monster creation rules on page 274 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide.

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Dungeons & Dragon Age – Part 1

dungeons-and-dragon-age

My tumble down the rabbit hole of 5th Edition D&D continues and this week I’m going to share some of what I’ve been working on: a conversion of Green Ronin’s Dragon Age RPG (based on the fantastic Bioware games of the same name) to 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons. Rather than simply show you what I’ve done and have you fawn all over me (cause how could you not?), I’d like to present this as a lucky bag of tips on creating monsters and how to approach converting existing content to an RPG system. Be warned: many an acronym lies ahead.

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RPG: Preparing a Campaign

So last time I chatted about RPGs I spoke about how to prepare a session. This time I’m going to go even bigger and talk about preparing for a new campaign. Like my last post I’ll be framing this in the context of Dungeons & Dragons, but these tips go for pretty much all RPG campaigns.

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Build A Board Game

If you follow us on our social media channels, you may have noticed that The Crafty Players are running a board game design jam on September 3, 2016. Paddy also mentioned it on the podcast last week. What is a board game design jam? Who is it for? Where are we doing it? Why are are we doing it? Well, for these answers and more, read on!

The Crafty Players Build A Board Game Design Jam Dublin Continue reading

Playing with Oneself

I don’t play board games for the games themselves, I play them because they bring me together with people I want to spend time with, they facilitate friendships, catch ups and create good stories. For these reasons, I’ve never played a solo board game. It’s a whole genre of the hobby I have no knowledge about. There’s another whole area of the hobby which I know very little about: print and play games. There are games that haven’t been published in big shiny boxes, but are available online for download, that you print yourself. You can print the game on cardboard or paper, colour or black and white, and have a perfectly playable game at the end of it all.

I decided I would explore these two worlds at the same time. I’d look into some print and play, solo games, give a few a try, and report back on what happened. Just like a real journalist. Continue reading