Recording of Season 3 Episode 3 Pushed Off

Due to some factors beyond our control. We were not able to record our episode this week like we had planned. We are not sure when we are going to record. We might try to record next week, but right now no promises are being made. If not, we should be able to record the following week.

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Season 3 Episode 2 - The Episode That Almost Wasn't

Welcome to Season 3 Episode 2 of RPG Circus

Episode Topics

  • Digital Cartography
  • Memories of Gaming Groups in Our Youth



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RPG Circus Season 3 Episode 1 - And So It Begins Again

Welcome to Season 3 Episode 1 of RPG Circus

Episode Topics

  • What Mark Learned From Doing D&D 4e Encounters
  • Our Views on the D&D 4e Fortune Cards



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RPG Circus Season 2 Episode 23 - Winter Solstice Fun

Welcome to Season 2 Episode 23 of RPG Circus

Episode Topics

  • DnD 4e Home Encounters
  • Listener Question about a Game for those that like it Crunchy and those that don't
  • Interview with Alex Flagg of Crafty Games



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RPG Circus Season 2 Episode 22 - We Never Met Nevermet Press

Welcome to Season 2 Episode 22 of RPG Circus

Episode Topics

  • Interview with Jonathan Jacobs and Paul King of Nevermet Press
  • Ammunition in Roleplaying Games
  • Time Travel in Roleplaying Games



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New Look.

After a bit of hit and miss on getting a new theme going, We are happy to switch over to a new theme for the website. If you notice anything odd, please let us know and we will attempt to correct it. Thank you for your patronage and for those that celebrate Thanksgiving this week, have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

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RPG Circus Season 2 Episode 21 - The D6s Have It. (Revised)

Sorry for the Repeat, but since someone pointed out how bad a certain section was, we went ahead and edited the Episode.

Welcome to Season 2 Episode 21 of RPG Circus

Episode Topics

  • Mini6 Review
  • History and Versions of Traveller
  • Running Large Parties



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Using Mind Mapping for your RPG Planning

When planning something for your game, there are many ways to do this. One way is to make lists of things. This can get rather cumbersome after a while. One could also just type notes in a word document or even some basic text editor. You could use a wiki like TiddlyWiki. While all these may work for you, I suggest you might try another approach. It’s called Mind Mapping.

From Wikipedia

A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid to studying and organizing information, solving problems, making decisions, and writing.

What’s nice about Mind Mapping is that you can use it with just a piece of paper and some pens. Below is an example from Wikipedia of a non-RPG related Mind Map.

Of course you may want to use software to do the same thing. Here is an example from Wikipedia for a computer based display of a mind map.

As a matter of fact, you can find a freeware mind mapping program called Freemind at http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page . The nice thing about this program is that it has versions for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. You may even be able to run it on other platforms because it’s written in Java.

Even without software, it’s pretty easy to make a mind map. You just have to follow some basic rules. First thing you need to do is place your central idea in the center of the page. Usually, you draw a circle or something around it. From there you draw branches (lines) to sub-ideas. The nice things is that you should worry about having too many or too few branches. They suggest that you use curved lines to attach branches. You should also use as few words as possible on each branch. The idea is stimulate your mind and not get bogged down in the details. Remember this is all about brainstorming, you may want to write something down even if you don’t use it.

Here is an example of a haunted house adventure.

As you can see, I have some ideas I may not use at all here. I just wanted to get them down so I could use them. I’d be very interested in know if anyone has used this technique and any additional advice they could give. If you have not used this technique, I’d like to know what you think of it.

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Review: Fantasy Craft - Adventure Companion

Some of you may now that I have talked about what is standard fantasy. I talked about how none of can agree on what it means, but yet we all seem to claim there is one. Well, I happy to say that Adventure Companion by Crafty Games is anything but Standard Fantasy.

As a matter of fact, it contains only one campaign world that is even close to what some may call standard fantasy. I say only one because it contains three detailed campaign worlds and a slew of classes and feats that go along with each one. Now Adventure Companion is for Crafty Games' Fantasy Craft. I don't think that should stop you from picking it up and reading it thought. It might just fuel your imagination for the next game you run.

I'm going to start off with my favorite of the three settings. They call it “Cloak & Dagger”. If one were to try to put it in a nutshell, I think I would call it Roman Empire with political infighting. For players, I know that being set in a roman era may take a bit of getting use to. After all, there are no fighters wearing full plate wielding a long sword walking down the street. Instead, you have a roman like centurion wearing a breastplate holding a gladius. But that's not the only change for most people. Players are involved in the political battle between various factions of the empire trying to control it. For those that might not know what adventures players may have, I suggest you watch the old Three Musketeer movies. I should note that I like the ones with Michael York myself over some of the more modern versions (yes Disney, I'm talking to you).

The next setting is a little more familiar to people. Called 'Epoch', it is more of a swords and sorcery type of setting. Although, I'm not sure that exactly does it justice. The players are the barbarians/tribesmen that are trying to stop the evil that lurks and disguises itself in the form of civilization. Unlike most games, the players are not going to be able to go into town and just replace and buy new equipment all the time. As a matter fact, it is suggested that the player be allowed to repair their equipment. Magic is a form or corruption and is a enemy rather than a tool to be used by the players without consequence. If you look at movie like Conan (the first one and not the second one) and Beastmaster, you get an idea what kind of setting and adventures one can have here.

Lastly, they have as setting called 'Sunchaser'. This is a more typical High Fantasy game. I say that because it assumes that the player are going to be doing epic things. It is a setting where little is know about the old world before the coming of the new world. This allows for many things to be found by the players. Ancient knowledge and hidden ruins await the adventure who dares to tread into the unknown. It is a call of the Hero type setting. That is to not say that it is boring but it does give you a slightly better grasp of what the setting is about.

Each campaign has information to help you play in that setting. These things include various classes and feats. It also takes about trade and gear for each settings. Each section provides a list of adventure concepts, themes, oppositions, and rewards. Each campaign also gets a few monsters specific to that setting.

Overall, I had to rate this purchase as a buy. If you play Fantasy Craft, you are going to want to get it in hardcover. Even if you play another fantasy game, I'd suggest that you pick it up in PDF format, so you can use it as a source of inspiration for your next campaign.

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RPG Circus Season 2 Episode 20 - From Low to High Level

Welcome to Season 2 Episode 20 of RPG Circus

Episode Topics

  • Low Level Gaming
  • Med Level Gaming
  • High Level Gaming

Yes, that's right. It's a trifecta of gaming topics.


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