RPG Retcon, revise. A piece of new information that imposes a different interpretation on previously described events. 


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Random Encounter

Akodoken comments on Pulling Mechanics in from Other RPG’s

Mining for mechanics (and story ideas) is one of my primary motivations for being an RPG tourist. I am always checking out new games to find cool new ways to run some part of the games I am running. Those mechanics get dropped in as house rules. I’ve been using some of these so long, I don’t even remember where I got some of them
Ye Olde “Roll a d6” is a rule I’ve had in my toolbox since AD&D.
Stunting aka giving your action an awesome description earns you a bonus on your roll.
Clocks from Blades in the Dark are a great way to run skill challenges and they can be easily setup on the fly.
I used Wraith the Oblivion’s “Shadow” mechanic in my D&D 5E game to represent the PCs being haunted while traveling through a cursed land. Every player played the Shadow for someone else’s character. They taunted, shamed, and encouraged bad behavior in others and used creepy voices to represent when they were talking as someone’s Shadow.
I’ve used D&D 4E’s minion rules in my 5E games. Minions have 1 hit point which allows you to throw a good number of them at PCs without overwhelming them because they go down quickly.

Lucas emails us on Pulling Mechanics in from Other RPG’s

Hello again, it’s Lucas from the middle of Nebraska again.

I would like to comment on pulling from mechanics from other RPGs.

So these are some of the things I’m doing in my current campaign.

I am currently running masks Nyarlathotep, next Monday is our 56 session one whole year!

We stick to the core of call Cthulhu seventh edition.
But I pulled the Pulp luck rules from pulp Cthulhu.
I also give out Fortune, which is very similar to Fortune from Shadow of the Demon Lord or Benny’s from Savage worlds. Let’s say the player does something awesome or it’s their birthday or hey they grab me something to drink before the game congratulations you get a fortune. A fortune can be used to reroll your roll (preferably you use this before the push mechanic). You can spend a fortune before you roll to give yourself two bonus dice on your roll, which can offer offset penalty dice.

I also use what are called “clue dice”
(I think I was inspired by trail of Cthulhu on this rule.. but I can’t remember) Every time they find a clue they get a d10, that is put in a pile at the center of the table for anyone to use, which can be used by being rolled and then substitute for any of the d10s position on the d100. So the group is in a stress situation they look at the pool and they think hey there was a clue that helped us get in this mess grab an roll a d10 and this roll this can be used to offset a critical failure or can give them a success but also at the end of a chapter the dice that are all left get rolled and are Granted as bonus skill points ( skills under 70 )

I also have used the initiative system from mothership. The players make a dexterity check if they succeed they go before the threat and if they fail to go after. Higher degrees success or failures May give the players advantages or disadvantages on there turn “those are things I come up on the fly”

These are just some hacks that I’ve made over the years in my call Cthulhu games and I find them fun and enjoyable. So if any other bsers want to use it go ahead (I didn’t make the game lol) it just makes my games a lot more fun and faster but don’t get me wrong when players have to spend all their luck to survive a situation where they would have died it’s still worth it to ask him” so how did you survive”
Their responses usually is “well it wasn’t easy but…”

Thanks for taking a moment to read my emails. Keep on rocking

Forum user Bingo comments on the Cortex rpg system

You mentioned Cortex during the podcast.
Definitely something I would recommend.
Our group first used the Smallville cortex system for our Supernatural Serenity campaign (Firely settting, but Supernatural frame – we flew around the ‘verse on our ship investigating the supernatural and hunting demons).
We are currently using the most recent iteration, Cortex Prime, for our two Star Wars campaigns. While our group was initially a little skeptical about the system but are now converts. It’s so flexible and with some practice you can design a set of mechanics that create the experience you’re looking for.
In the primary Star Wars campaign, our characters are former Jedi apprentices who fled Order 66 to a strange planet unlike any other in the galaxy. (hard to explain). We built a Cortex Prime system that is just fantastic for Force powers.
In our secondary Star Wars campaign, we have street-level characters (detective, forensics specialist etc) who are part of an X-Files-like team who investigate supernatural events on the strange planet above. Using the same mechanics, we built a system that is great for street level characters, where we don’t even bother with character advancement.
Highly recommended. It just takes some getting used to.

Stephen emails us about RPG editions

Hello my sexy BSers

I really enjoyed this episode (as opposed to really hating the others… kidding!) And I’ve occasionally wanted to run an RPG in the world of a Movie, TV series, etc. I once bought the Babylon 5 RPG as I was a big fan, but both my friends and I didn’t really like the system made for it, so it was never played (i hadn’t thought of using another ruleset at the time and probably wouldn’t have wanted to do all that work anyway).

I was a fan of Farscape, Stargate, Bubblegum Crisis (an anime series) but leary of buying any of those for more or less the same reason but also because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to run a game in those worlds that would be as engaging as the stories of those IPs.

Today, if i were to run a game in Stargate, for example, I’d get the books/PDFs more for the fluff, the background information and use another system that I’m comfortable with. Maybe a generic rpg system, maybe a product that may already have the stats for much of the props i would need (by props i mean, gear, vehicles, adversaries, etc) with a little tweaking.

About Editions:
To invest in a new one, it would have to be one with significant differences to the previous one. I had walked away from AD&D a long time ago because I didn’t like many aspects of the mechanics, but when 3ed came out i was thrilled. Finally a consistent D20 mechanic that covers not only combat, but skills (thief skills especially), saves, etc. And the simplified Armor Class system is so much more elegant (no chart needed), IMHO.

I remember running Shadowrun 1st Ed, and the net hacking mechanics were a nightmare…i had reworked them for my group and my player who ran a hacker agreed that my new way was simpler and faster (but that was so long ago that I don’t remember what I did exactly). After a while we moved onto another RPG and never revisited Shadowrun, so I’m not familiar with other éditions.

Other that D&D, I’ve only bought a new edition of the same RPG once and that was Cyberpunk 2020 to the Red edition (and only because my buddy Tony wanted to run some games in that setting). The core was familiar enough and with just the right amount of changes/updates for my taste, along with a new plotline to the world in order to take into account all the new tech and science since the original game came out.
Yours fabulously,
Stephen Dragonspawn

Feedback on our e-newsletter from Mirko

Hey Brett and Sean,

I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading the moderator bios in the newsletter you sent out a few days ago. Really nice to get to know a bit about everyone’s gaming and personal background.

This made me wonder: What would you think about periodically featuring a similar bio for one of the “regular” BS-er community members? After all, we have an amazing community here, with engaging discussions on Discord and the forums, and increasingly even games being run by BS-ers for BS-ers. I for one would enjoy getting to know a bit more about everyone. Not sure what format would make most sense – email newsletter, a periodic (perhaps monthly) segment on the podcast, etc.

Anyway, just a thought.

Thanks again to you for building this great community and thanks to the moderators for keeping it that way.

-Mirko aka DigitalHobbit

Hermeticgamer emails us

Brett and Sean,

Saw this article and thought about your episode on being paid to run games.



I’m actually up to date since October shows and still working my way backwards. You guys make cooking, cleaning and yard work so much more enjoyable and help to drown out the constant noise of the kids when I can’t take any more.

Keep up the great work!

Aka The Doctor

Ty emails us

Hey guys, saying that I’ve been really enjoying the show. This is your friendly neighborhood Tymonger. Coming at you from California. I want to quickly make two comments about the last show. One is about adding stuff to an existing game. We have been using the dungeon worlds travel system for our ICRPG game. Mostly because the game does not have a travel system and the dungeon world is so easy to implement and use is why we use it. But I am a big believer in the Frankenstein system of adding stuff from one game to another. Mostly because you typically cannot find a system that perfectly fits your style and you have to almost adapt to what best fits your group. Now let’s talk about the initiative. Brett, what you talked about of what you use sounds very similar to ICRPG. The only difference is they do a counterclockwise tabletop setup. What I mean by that is you go from the left of the GM and you go counterclockwise around the table. That does mean that your players have to think about who they want to go first?. Typically the tank and then you move along to the other players and usually finish off with the healer last next to the GM who will go last. That will mean the tank will sit to the left of the GM. With this method, you will always know who will go next, because they’re always the person to your left of whoever spoke last. And combat always goes that way. This method makes the initiative a lot quicker and easier. No need to roll no need to remember what order no need to write down who had what roles it’s always starting from the left of the GM. I hope I explained it well enough. If not, here’s a snapshot from the core rule books for ICRPG that could help.

Die Roll

  • Article in Business Insider on DM’ing professionally.
  • From our friend Akodoken, The Devil Made Us Do It!, coming from Monte Cook Games
  • Eddy Webb announced on Twitter that he is one of the writers for the official Transformers RPG. Thanks Akodoken

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About the Author
The 'S' of Gaming and BS podcast. Besides producing and hosting the show, Sean enjoys long walks on the beach, running rpg's, and killing player...characters.