Crit Fail Ate my Character: Let’s Talk Tabletop!




Oooh yeah. I love just looking for weird or hideously broken abilities and just making horrible gimmick builds.

My personal favorites were a build in Mutants & Masterminds 3e that could throw people into space at starting power level, and a pixie bus driver in Shadowrun 4e that had a swarm of ten bandits (magical raccoons) trained to hold and fire pistols.

I’m quite proud of Throw Guy’s character sheet


I enjoy tabletops, but thanks to scheduling I haven’t had the chance to get into one for a while. My last proper game was Scion, where I played Raphael, the unluckiest French-Egyptian under the sun armed with a drunk murderbird and bad rolls aplenty. Fun times were had.


If I’m thinking of the right one, one of my friends ran that for us at my bachelor party* and it was glorious. Especially with the best man who had the secret mission of insisting that everything is proceeding as planned and nothing is wrong. I ended up openly shooting him in the face. :+1:

*tabletop RPGs make for the best bachelor parties, screw clubbing.


I’ve always liked the Dungeons & Dragons types. I started on 2nd Ed. Cheesed 3.5, had a good time in Pathfinder until power creep (and also cheesed). But I’ve played Dungeon World, Monsterhearts, Fiasco, the Serenity RPG, Shadowrun. Could never figure out Exalted or the Star Wars games. Getting too old to learn new things maybe.

I might start a campaign soon on these threads. Stay tuned. Now, I need to go to sleep already.


I play and run a lot of tabletop stuff. I’m currently running one game of Strike! and playing in another. I enjoy both, but I think I’m going to take a break from GMing after my current game is finished. I like doing it, but it takes up too much of my headspace in a week, especially if it’s a game with tactical combat.

As a GM, I tend to like rules-light systems, mostly because I’m lazy and don’t like having to stat up a bunch of things.:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

As a player though, I’m willing to play anything, and find tactical combat pretty fun.


I’m gonna tell you all about the magic and wonder of Feng Shui 2, a game notable for being Not Another Fantasy Game and also for being Rad As Hell.

Feng Shui 2 is largely based on Hong Kong action movies, partially based on western action movies, and 100% based on letting you immediately kick ass without needing to earn your fun first. Character generation consists of “pick a dude.” Advanced players might try “pick a dude and change a couple things” if they want to spice things up a little.

I’m being a little glib but you don’t really make stat distribution choices when you make a character, you just pick from one of around 30-ish action movie archetypes like “Karate Cop” (Jackie Chan, basically), “Martial Artist” (Jackie Chan, basically), “Everyman Hero” (Jack Burton or Jackie Chan, basically), “Highway Ronin” (Mad Max, basically), “Cyborg” (a junkyard Terminator, basically), etc. You give them a name and a melodramatic hook like “I’m looking for the man who killed my partner” or “I’m trying to make up for all the crimes I did,” and get to work. Each archetype has its own stats and special abilities, and each special move is pretty self-contained to cut down on digging through the book mid-fight.

The setting is bonkers and I love it so much. Feng Shui is a time-travel game, first of all. Unlike most time-travel stuff, the goal is not really to maintain the status quo and make sure nothing changes, but to find rad times and places to kick someone in the face in order to change the future how you want it. There’s four primary time/space periods (690 AD China, 1850 China, today’s Hong Kong, and 2070-ish post-apoc America) that are all connected by the Netherworld, a realm sort-of outside of time that contains portals to all the different junctures.

Each juncture and the Netherworld are all controlled by some group or another. For example, the modern world is secretly controlled by the Ascended, which is basically the Illuminati as run by people descended from magic animals that turned themselves into humans. Their primary goal is to make sure magic doesn’t come back into the world in any big way, because exposure to magic can change them back to regular animals, but since Hong Kong and past junctures are more magic-friendly, they have to work through intermediaries. The future juncture is post-apocalyptic because cyborg apes blew up all the chi and killed 97% of the world’s population. This game rules. Please take a look at it sometime.


Does it still have the mechanics from Feng Shui 1 where certain tech or magic wouldn’t work as well in certain timelines, or the thing where if you played an animal person, there was a chance if you were touched by magic to irreversibly be turned back into a normal animal? Those mechanics bugged me enough to never really want to play the first version of the game.


Most of that is still there, but way toned down. Dice penalties for magic are gone. Hostile magic zones instead cause a very small bit of injury, but not enough to make a difference unless you’re going ham with sorcery.

Transformed animals still have the threat of reverting, but it’s a much lower chance and the initial consequences aren’t as bad. Archanotech is gone and there’s new stuff instead, mutant powers have a backlash mechanic but it won’t kill the user.


Haven’t played dnd since I had to move away from my group and haven’t realy put in the effort to find a new one.

But one game we played only a few times that I had a lot of fun with was Dread, where it’s a horror game using jenga, so if you want to do an action, you pull so many pieces out depending on the difficulty. Once I had the tower falling right on my arm but I was able to figure out a way to put it upright cause you can only use one hand.


I’m one of those weirdos who likes GURPS Fourth Edition, and honestly it’s probably in no small part due to the fact that I am a tinkerer and not a GM or a player, so I can sympathize with enjoying just statting up stuff.

I actually used to play and GM some other systems, funny enough, but the people I played with got busier and busier, as did I, and eventually it just sort of faded from my mind. Now I have a collection of stuff ranging from D&D to FATE to Shadowrun that I pretty much only have for my own entertainment (and sometimes FATAL and Friends reviews). Bestiaries in particular are something I’ll still collect from time to time, as a decent book of monsters is a quick way to this girl’s heart.


Hello yes hi I’m the guy who can talk for hours on end about several dozen different tabletop games, it me. I am entirely too familiar with World of Darkness books in particular.


Out of curiosity, has anyone here ever had a chance to play Little Fears? I’ve always wanted to try it but it felt like the sort of setting that you absolutely had to play straight-laced to get the most enjoyment out of it, and my gaming group in college was full of the type of people who couldn’t sincerely RP if their lives depended on it.


Little Fears is the kind of game that requires a really good, trusting group that know each other deeply.

My personal games of choice are WoD 2e stuff and Ars Magica.

I might actually start my own thread about Ars Magica, in which I talk endlessly, maybe go back through the books.

…a third time.

…a third time to talk about to other people, that is.


I loved reading through your reviews of Ars Magica, even though its a game I could never imagine myself playing. The rules seem a bit dense.


The character creation rules absolutely are.

In actual gameplay, only the GM really needs to know more than ‘roll a d10, add numbers, 1s cause explosions and 10s are bad.’


So, 3 years ago I took the plunge and bought the Pathfinder Core Rulebook to try and jumpstart an RPG game across my friends. We had been talking about that for a while, but indecision ended up always gripping us and the mixture of tons of free alternatives made everybody not want to take the first step forward. My decision ended up working a bit too well. One year later the group had blossomed from 5 players to 9 and I ended up splitting the group.

Currently I GM for what I call the Party Sapphire and Party Ruby, both of them having started playing the Rise of the Runelords campaign which the Sapphire party continued while the Ruby party changed to the Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign one third through, Currently both of the are 66.(6)% done with their story and due to conflicts we’ve been alternating between that and other one-shot-session campaigns, including Pathfinder Society(and I haven’t been the GM of all of them thankfully :stuck_out_tongue: ).

I’ve been wanting to discover and try some more roleplaying heavy systems for a while, but between the conflict of English not being our native language and the fact that most of us are still engineers too focused on mechanics instead of roleplaying, I haven’t found a good option yet.


What’s up fam, I’m here to shill for FATE. Fate is a story game at heart, but it has a bit more in the way of stats and moving parts on your sheet than a lot of them, which may appeal to your players. The idea is that your actual skills that you roll on have pretty predictable results- the probability curve is such that you’re likely to roll [skill]± 1, with more occasional outliers of up to ± 4. So, to make up the difference, Fate’s big core idea is that of “Aspects”. Aspects are tags that you apply to characters, locations, and sometimes events that are, as far as the fiction is concerned, absolutely true until otherwise disproven.

The place where they will get hung up on, probably, is the very broad nature of Aspects. Like, it’s literally a sentence or phrase that you use to describe a feature or state of something. There’s nothing directly in the rules to prohibit somebody from stating, “I would like to create an Athletics Advantage to make myself Intangibly vibrating through the Speed Force”, except that the roll would be prohibitively difficult and the GM would be like, “be serious, please, this is swords and sorcery :expressionless:

The hard part of GMing Fate, coming from a more crunchy, simulation-oriented game is going to be managing your different types of scene. Fate has a lot of kinda templates for broad types of interaction between characters and character-like structures, but it’s up to you to decide which is actually appropriate. The general rule of thumb is, “Will it actually be interesting or important to zoom all the way into this course of action”.
So, let’s say a PC is trying to sneak past some guards. In D&D, you would probably actually plot your course across a map of the area, and roll vs. Notice for every guard. This is interesting for the rogue, maybe, but it’s not interesting for everybody else necessarily. Moreover, failing at stealth in this case all but guarantees a “fail” state of open combat. In Fate, what’s really important is that the rogue gets in there and opens the side door for the rest of the party. That’s a 2-part challenge where the rogue makes a Stealth check to get through the facility, and a Burglary check to open the lock. If these rolls are “failed”, the rogue has the option to succeed “at a cost”, which is somewhat up for debate. If he fails the Stealth roll, then his cost might be that one guy spotted him for like a second, and the whole castle now has the Aspect “Guards are on alert” to come back and haunt the party later. If he fails the Burglary roll, then the cost might be that guards actually do pour into that wing of the building because it took too long to open the door, only now it’s okay to have a fight because the party has reconvened.

The main thing that Aspects do, besides “being true”, is that you can invoke them for bonuses on your rolls. Any aspect that a character creates in the scene gets one free Invoke, and otherwise it costs a Fate Token (which is a renewable metagame currency). You can invoke any aspect that would plausibly assist an action, including inherent character aspects, Consequences (which are a type of long-lingering negative aspect that you get as a result of damage), or temporary situation aspects, such as “I’ve seen the blueprints to this building” or “knocked to the ground”

With regards to aspects “being true”, that sounds really vague on puprose. Like in fiction, a fact doesn’t really matter until it becomes interesting. A common example is something or somebody being On Fire. In D&D, this would probably mean that you’re taking damage every round and getting major distraction-type penalties. In Fate, the fact that you’re on fire is mostly a passive risk under the majority of rulesets. The GM has the option of playing hardball by “compelling” the aspect, where you get a Fate Token in exchange for being bound to an undesirable decision. This could either be requiring you to take the Moderate Consequence of “Bad burns on arm and shoulder”, or simply a promise stating that your only meaningful actions in this scene will be “trying to stop being on fire” for as long as you’re still burning. A player can resist this by immediately spending a Fate Token, instead. Another issue of being On Fire, though, is that it gives characters and the environment “permission” to take on actions of statuses that reflect that. Like, maybe throwing lamp oil on somebody isn’t immediately terrible usually, but throwing lamp oil on somebody who is On Fire constitutes a rather powerful attack. Maybe you don’t normally have the option of bringing down an entire building by kicking a support beam really hard, but it’s a different story if the building is On Fire.

It takes some getting used to, but it’s heavily modifiable and pretty good at simulating genre fiction. If you want a little more crunch to the system, look into the Atomic Robo RPG, which expands heavily on the rules for Stunts, which are roughly analogous to D&D feats, but otherwise you can get away with a lot by deciding that, within the plausible bounds of the setting, you just have permission to do something because of your aspects. So like, if it’s agreed that elves have low-light vision, then anybody with an Aspect related to being an elf is assumed to be able to do things that require low-light vision, such as reading or disarming a trap without a light source.

Anyway, the entire Fate SRD is up free on, which includes a bunch of the variant SRDs like Atomic Robo, and Sails Full of Stars, so you should check it out if that sounds interesting.


Fuck it, let’s have that thread.


I’ve been wanting to get into a tabletop for a while, admittedly The Adventure Zone has made this jonesing more apparent. Unfortunately I live in a remote corner of Scotland, I know of nobody local who runs games and I have long distance travel anxiety. To that end how do people feel about virtual tabletops like Roll20?

As far as systems go I’ve been curious about Pathfinder (My first game I played was homebrew DnD 3.5 so it’s a bit familiar), Traveller (Space adventures sound like a lot of fun!) and Shadowrun, which I’ve been building a changeling character for in case I get the chance to play.

I’m used to playing RPGs over text chat but I’d love to play a game over voice chat, again TAZ has me loving the concept of vocally role playing interactions!