Jeff's blog

The Rule Of Law

You know the drill, the players' characters stumble into town and procedure to interact with people in any sort of manner they see fit. They destroy property. They vanquish evil doers (and not so evil doers) without too much issue. They let lose all manner of mighty magics without even a second thought. While such actions can be accomplished out in the wild without any real issue, shouldn't a place of civilization be different? Are your towns nothing more than wild lands with more people in them, where the players can get a hot meal, get healed, and sell their treasure? Does your town even have laws?

In all my years of Role-Playing, few in game place seem to have any laws or restrictions that have any real meaning. Do not get me wrong, I think most players operate under the assumption that there are some basic laws in place. Although, most players seem to operate above them or without regard for them in any case.

Right now, some of you may be asking so what and that's OK. The truth is that generally speaking, it's not a big deal in most games. Still, I think we lose but not having some sort of reminder that there are laws in the land. In many ways, the games that many of us play in is sort of like the Hollywood version of the Wild West. A place were there are laws, but very little enforcement. Now there are some games where that makes a lot of sense. Even with just a few select laws that affect the players' characters in some way, creates a more dynamic environment for play. Let's take an example.

In a fantasy game, the players enter a fortified town. They encounter an evil assassin and defeat him. In most games, the players would just loot the body and move on to the next thing. I'm sorry but that's a bit boring. What if rather the fight was seen and the town guard is arriving to take over. What do the players do? Do they run and hide? Do they hide the body? Hell, do they wait for the town guard to arrive and try to explain things? Do they need to bribe the town guard to prevent the town guard from taking them to the local magistrate? Do they fight the town guard? By even making the killing something that the town guard would have to investigate, you have just made the players' lives more interesting. I not say that they players are in any real trouble, but they will have to deal with the law and that may influence their actions.

Of course one could also use laws to influence a certain setting feel as well. Maybe you want to have a setting where the common people are fearful of magic. Have laws that ban magic or require that arcane magic users to have licenses to practice could help reinforce that to the players. Actually this concept was quite common in some of the earlier settings. I know of at least two old settings that have mention the idea of requiring a permit to use magic within a cities walls. I can just see a player talking to the town guard saying, “Yes, I killed blood beetle with my Magic Missile and no, I don't have a permit”. “What do you mean, I'm going to have to go with you? You should be thanking me!”

So, does your game have any Legal laws that affect the players? Are they used to help enforce a setting concept or they just there for your own local amusement? Please let me know. I'm always interested in finding out what other people are doing.

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Random VIdeo Clips from GenCon 2010

Sadly, we didn't record much at GenCon 2010 as we would have liked. Honestly, we just got busy doing other things. Here, we have a collection of the video we did get.

You can also go to the Youtube Page Directly.

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GenCon 2010 GMs Jam

After a long hard fight. Here is the video from the GenCon 2010, GMs Jam.

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RPG Circus First Video

For fun, we decided to do a quick and dirty video that explains how we actually record our podcast.

Go To this Video's Youtube Page
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A Short Wait for a New Episode

Here at RPG Circus, we will have a short wait until we can record and release the next episode. As much as we hate to admit it, family requirements of the hosts dictate that the next episode be delayed until later in the month. We apologize if this will interrupt your listening schedule.

RPG Circus Producer/Host

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Out Until the New Year

Here at the Circus, we are all on Holiday until the beginning of next year. We hope all of you and your families have a wonderful winter holiday season and we hope that 2010 is going to be a wonderful year for all of us.

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Facebook Connect Up and Ready

Here at RPG Circus, we are going to be trying a little experiment. Through the use of some wonderful plugins and Facebook Connect API, you can now use your Facebook login to create a user account on RPG Circus. If you already have an account here, you can link it to your RPG Circus account.

To get started just click the Login using Facebook link on the right. A dialog will pop-up and ask you to enter your Facebook login. Once done, it will ask you want to create or use an existing account. This required since we don't get anything from Facebook except that you have been authenticated by them. We do not store nor do we even get your Facebook password. Once complete, your account here is linked to your Facebook account and as long as your logged into Facebook, you will be logged in here.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

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New Website Look and Feel

Here at the RPG Circus, we happy to announce a revision to the website. In addition, we added some new features to the website as well.

Let's go over what's new

• Ability to rate posts and podcasts - With each post you will notice stars. You can give each post star ratings. As we are not sure how well this will work, we are going to play a wait and see game.

• Forums - We setup some simple forums. If you want more categories, please let us know.

• Blogging Posts - Since we can't talk about everything we want sometimes on the Podcast, we were thinking that if we have something we want to go real "in depth" with, we can now post a blog entry for it. Right now there is nothing listed, but please check back as we will be posting some in the near future.

• New Banner Graphic - You likely noticed it, but just in case, we have a new banner graphic for the website. We hope you like it.

There will be more additions, but it will take time to get them setup correctly.

As usual, please let us know what you think.

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