Category Archives: Random musings

Don’t take yourself too seriously!

The ROLPUNK manifesto has – at least in my humble opinion – an underlying message: don’t take yourself to seriously, and remember it’s just a game! Since I have started following RPG blogs many years ago I’ve noticed that some people treat roleplaying games and discussions about them like politics or religion.

Almost every discussion about whether old school or new school is better or if D&D 4th Edition is the best thing sinced sliced bread or not turns into a flame war of epic proportions. I have to admit I am not innocent when it comes to this, but I think having realized that something is wrong is the first step. 😉

Berin Kinsman’s ROLPUNK movement is some kind of wake-up call. We should stop fighting and enjoy our games. There’s no wrong way to play as long as we are having fun! That doesn’t mean that it’s not allowed to rant once in a while. Heck, we are just human! And now get your dice off my lawn … 😀

What’s on the horizon?

Earth's horizon as seen from the space shuttle Today I want to give you an update on what’s brewing at Stargazer’s World right now.  Just today I finished the first draft of a rather long post (1771 words so far) that will go live as a guest post on Philippe Ménard’s blog in a few days. We decided that the topic would make a great post for his blog and perhaps it helps to convince some of his readers to check out my blog too. 😉 Actually I am a bit excited since it’s the first guest post I have written for another blog. And ChattyDM is one of the people who helped me a lot since I joined the RPG Bloggers Network last year. His posts and good advice over Twitter or IM always helped me to get over the deepest of slumps.

In the meantime I am reading several RPG books I purchased recently. Alas some of my offline activities are getting into the way. It doesn’t help that I am now actually an elected local politician. I have been in politics for over ten years but it’s the first time I got a parliamentary seat in our town parliament! Yay!

But back to the RPG books I mentioned. I still have to read Eclipse Phase, the new game from Catalyst Game Labs. I got the PDF as soon as it was on RPGNow and printed it out. Alas I haven’t had that much time to read it, yet, probably because I then picked up a copy of Fantasy Craft soon thereafter . Fantasy Craft is a pretty cool d20 fantasy game that was created by the guys behind Spy Craft. If you want to read more about this cool game, you should check out "Life and Times of a Philipine Gamer". But rest assured that I will write reviews of both games when I have finished reading them.

I also got both the hardcover version of Vampire: The Dark Ages and Hunter: The Reckoning from a German blogger’s "Garage Sale" for just a few Euros, so expect some first looks of those games, too. Both books are probably out of print and at least Hunter has a successor called Hunter: The Vigil that sounds pretty interesting. And even if you don’t want to run games using the old World of Darkness rules, you still can use both books as inspiration for campaigns using the new WoD line for example. Hunter (the old or the new version) also sounds like the perfect world for the horror solo game I wanted to run for some time now…

I also started working on a translation of my Dungeonslayers supplement "Fireworks" to English. The booklet contains not only rules for firearms, cannons and explosives for Dungeonslayers but also introduces a completely new class. I don’t know when the translation will be done (this usually takes a lot longer than you think) but expect some previews as soon as I have something to show off.

I am also working on a secret layout project that is way past the initial deadline. Hmm, perhaps I should make this project top priority then…

Aside from all that I also would like to work on a Swords & Wizardry campaign based on the later titles of the Ultima series. But since I am already having too many unfinished projects I will probably put this on the back burner for now.

Phew! This post got much longer than I expected. But you now should have a pretty good overview about my current plans for this blog, so stay tuned. And if you have any comments, questions or advice please let me know! Any comment is highly appreciated!

Confessions of a Gamer: Dungeon Mastering

Behind the DM screen I can’t exactly remember when I decided to run my own games as game master. When I am not mistaken I have been playing roleplaying games for some time already when I read about “Traveller”. I was immediately intrigued by the game since it reminded me of the Foundation novels by Isaac Asimov. So I decided to get a copy of Travellers and run it for a couple of friends.

Alas I can’t remember much from my first steps into game mastering, but I think we never played Traveller again. Before I went to university I only ran a few games of Shadowrun. But for most of the time I played in other people’s campaigns.

When I started studying physics at the university I met quite a few people interested in roleplaying games. Within a few months I had a regular gaming group and we played Shadowrun again. I have to admit that I didn’t know all of the rules and most of my adventures were improvised on the spot instead of being properly prepared, but we had a lot of fun. For several years I ran a game almost every week, which helped me to improve my GM skills.

Since I’ve started GMing, I’ve run games using various systems including Deadlands, Shadowrun, D&D 3rd Edition, D&D 3.5 Edition, GURPS, WHFRP, several WoD games and many more. I never was a one-system-guy I always collected various role-playing games. Alas I haven’t run all of them yet. And a few of the games I own I will probably never use.

When I think about it, my motivation to run games as a game master is two-fold: first and foremost I love creating worlds and stories and on the other hand I love to try out new games. And since it’s pretty hard to convince other people that they have to run a certain game for you, I decided to run the games myself. And since my players keep coming back for more, I can’t be that bad as a GM.

Currently I run two games: a Rippers game for a couple of friends and a solo game with my girlfriend. If I had more players and a bit more time I would love to start a third game. But I wouldn’t mind to be player in a game run by someone else.

If you have any questions about my history as a game master, feel free to ask. And I am very interested to hear your story. Why and when did you start running games for your friends? Do you prefer being GM or do you enjoy being a player, too? Any comment is welcome!