Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team.
In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games.
Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.
I am pretty sure that a lot of GMs are using music to set the mood during their gaming sessions. I prefer epic soundtracks from computer games and/or movies. But using the music from major blockbusters is not without problems. Music usually triggers memories and even if the effect is sometimes intended you want your players to enjoy the story of your current adventure and not reminisce some movie. In order to broaden my repertoire of “gaming music” I checked out soundtracks from lesser known games and movies and finally I stumbled over “Erdenstern“. Erdenstern is the name of a german band that creates music especially for roleplayers. They have released several CDs and each CD has a special theme. “Into the Red” for example is battle/war-themed, while “Into the Dark” is perfectly suited for horror or gothic scenarios. They even tag each song, so that you can easily choose the correct tracks for the situation at hand. Erdenstern has gained some popularity in the german roleplayers’ scene but I think they are pretty unknown in the rest of the world. If you are looking for some fantasy-themed music, make sure you check out Erdenstern.
Erdenstern has released some bonus tracks for free, so you can check out their style before ordering the CDs.
Some time ago I stumbled upon “Tiny Adventures“, a Facebook application created by Wizards of the Coast. In Tiny Adentures you choose from a set of different adventurers (the iconic D&D 4E characters), give your new hero (you start at level 1) a name and you’re ready to embark on adventures. I chose the half-elf paladin. He came with some gold, a dagger (WTF?) and a rusty chainmail. Hmm, paladins ain’t what they used to be. When I clicked on the Quest tab, I got a list of several adventures suitable for my level. I chose “Sins of the Saltmarsh” and off I was…
The process of adventuring itself is not very interesting. You wait for a few minute before you can press a button and you get some descriptive text about what had happened (an encounter, fight, whatever) and you get some XP, perhaps some gold and/or equipment. Even while you are on adventure you can go to the shop, buy and sell stuff and you can even equip new armor.
In my opinion this simple game is a pretty nice idea, but it could need a bit more interactivity. Let me make some decisions, give me some customization options and I am happy. But in its current state “Tiny Adventures” is a nice distraction but not a real game.
Specifically, this site takes posts from its members and publishes an excerpt of them here, so instead of following a bunch of feeds, you only have to follow one. Plus you may find great posts by blogs you didn’t even know existed.
In order to improve compliance with the network I have added, rearranged and renamed some of the categories. This shouldn’t be a big deal, but I wanted to let you know. I am pretty excited about that whole network business. It’s the first time I’ve created a blog that’s part of something greater. 😉
A Roleplaying Games blog
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