Category Archives: Cypher System

Player-facing Rolls

Yesterday night I played the John Sinclair Abenteuerspiel for the first time. It’s a German roleplaying game based on the popular John Sinclair pulp horror novel series. In the game you play monster/ghost hunters employed by the Scotland Yard. Is it as campy as it sounds? You betcha! But that’s not what I want to write about today.

The system used by the game features player-facing rolls which means all rolls are made by the players and none by the GM. I’ve seen this in only a couple of other games (mostly Monte Cook’s Cypher System games like Numenera, The Strange, et.c) and the more I encounter it, the more I like it.

A bad habit which this feature immediately eliminates is cheating dice rolls by the GM. I’d guess most of us have done it and over time you realize it’s a bad idea. You might think you’re helping your players, but in reality you take their victories and their defeats away from them. Some players might not care, but it may totally ruin the game for others.

It also quite literally puts the dice back into the players’ hands. It their dice rolls that count. The GM is just setting difficulties and running the show. This can also be very relaxing from a GM’s standpoint. You don’t have to worry about killing your players because of a couple of dice rolls seemingly defying probability. The players also are less likely to see you as their opponent. You don’t roll the dice, they have fate in their hands. Overall it might not change much, BUT it feels different.

What is your stance on the dice taken away from the GM? Please share your thoughts below!

#RPGaDay2017 Day 23: The layout of the book

Wednesday post for #RPGaDay2017. We’re in Europe territory now… The Final Countdown!

Ok, you’re not here for the lame jokes, but for today’s question, which is:

August 23: Which RPG has the most jaw-dropping layout?

Jaw-dropping is such a strong concept. I associate it with something truly extraordinary, and RPGs have really come far from the early days, it is amazing. And there are some notable examples of amazing layout.

Take the books by Modiphius Entertainment. Their books rarely disappoint Look at a sample page from the new Star Trek RPG.

They feel like something right out of Star Trek!

The recently released Starfinder is another example. I don’t have the hardcopy, but you can see the great layout on the PDF. Really didn’t expect any less form Paizo, but they have taken their expertise and taken it to the next level. Just look…

But my pick for true jaw-dropping layout goes to Monte Cook games! Their layout is no only elegant, easy to read, with generally great art, but the cross referencing, the rule clarifications and page references in the margins means that understanding the game and getting additional information when you need it is easy. This is style and function combined into one.

The companion to this series of posts are our vide responses to the questions of #RPGaDay2017 over at the Desde la Fosa YouTube channel. Me and the team at Desde la Fosa are recording our answers in Spanish. If you speak the language we appreciate the views, if you don’t, we are thankful for any shares.

Which is your choice for jaw-dropping layout? Let us know here in the comments or tag us in social media.

#RPGaDay2017 Day 18: The Answer is D&D

Today’s answer has been a constant all week, and it’s fitting it will be the Friday post. Just as the answer to the questions of #RPGaDay2017 about the game I prefer for open ended campaigns, and the one I like running as is, the answer for today is simple. Before I get to the answer, the question is:

August 18: Which RPG have you played the most in your life?

In case the banner picture at the top of the post didn’t give it away, the game I’ve played the most in my life is Dungeons & Dragons. I remember seeing this ad in a comic even before playing the game. Continue reading #RPGaDay2017 Day 18: The Answer is D&D