Top 5 Podcasts de Juegos de Rol


Hola a todo el mundo. Hoy os traigo una traducción al español de una de las entradas de blog mas populares de Alex de 2017. En este post nos habla sobre diversos podcast de grupos que juegan a rol y sus recomendaciones para aquellos que este interesados en el tema. Así que, aquí vamos.

Si os gustan los juegos de rol pero vuestras circunstancias no os permiten jugar de forma regular, tal vez os guste saber que tenéis otra forma de quitar de mono rolero a través de podcasts. Okay, comprendo que esto simplemente es escuchar como otra gente juega a rol, pero al menos os podeis meter en el ambiente. Estos podcasts también pueden resultaros útiles para recaudar ideas para vuestras propias partidas. O, si tal vez nunca habéis tenido la ocasión de jugar, desde luego son un buen ejemplo para entender como lo hacen los pros. Mas o menos así fue como me metí yo en el ajo. Antes de empezar a jugar con mis amigos, quería saber como iba la historia pero no tenia forma de ver a otra gente jugar, y prácticamente de casualidad me tropecé con una grabación de ‘Critical Hit’. De esta forma, pude entender como funcionaba la cuarta edición de D&D, que es el sistema con el que empecé. Curiosamente, ‘Critical Hit’ no seria una de mis recomendaciones principales en la actualidad, pero por si alguno de vosotros estas interesado podéis encontrar su pagina web aquí HERE.

High Rollers D&D LINK

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Realmente esta recomendación que os voy a hacer ahora no es un podcast per se, si no, más bien un Twitch y serie de YouTube. Se llama High Rollers D&D y le llevan unos cuantos del grupo Yogscast de YouTube. No es ni la mas avanzada, espectacular o interesante de todas las de la lista, pero me encana el Master y es bastante divertida. La mayoría de los jugadores son primerizos, así que si no tenéis experiencia, tal vez esta os resulte más accesible. Este grupo juega utilizando la quinta edición de D&D que también me parece de las mejores para iniciarse y entender como funcionan los juegos de rol. También he de decir que la serie mejora con el tiempo, lo mismo que por personajes/jugadores, y se nota un incremento en la calidad de la producción, la historia y el roleo, así que dadle una oportunidad.

Critical Role LINK

Estos chicos ya se lo toman bastante mas en serio – la foto abajo os lo dice todo, la verdad. Aunque se les puede encontrar por YouTube, también son un grupo de Twitch, pero gracias a su popularidad les podéis ver a través de Geek and Sundry, y iTunes tiene una versión podcast de sus partidas también, aunque van con bastante retraso.

Este grupo también sigue las reglas de la quinta de D&D, y suelen ser bastantes jugando al mismo tiempo (hasta 8). Lo curioso del tema es que tanto el Master como los jugadores son actores – la mayoría dobladores de voz – que seguro que habéis escuchado con anterioridad en cientos de animes y videojuegos (en versión original, claro). Y como ya os comentaba anes, se lo toman muy en serio, ya que, al fin y al cabo esta es una variante mas de su profesión, y las partidas les suelen quedar bastante molonas, tanto cuando están de risas como cuando se pone todo sombreo. Una cosa que me encanta es que hace voces y ponen distintos acentos para darle credibilidad a sus personajes. Como remate final, también deciros que el Master es brillante – uno de los mejores que yo haya visto jugar – y siempre tiene un montón de detalles preparados, con historias impredecibles y muy buena improvisación. Una cosa que si que os recomendaría es que no empecéis con el primer episodio, porque les pilla a mitad de campana y te pierdes un poco. Pero si les dais la oportunidad os daréis cuenta que enseguida os engancháis, y con la producción del show mejorando cada día, la verdad es que alcanzan un estándar increíble: el mejor, diría yo de todas estas series.

 

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One Shot LINK

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Bueno, esta si que solo es un podcast de audio que esta producido por la One Shot Network. Este grupo hace una cosa un poco distinta ya que se concentran sobretodo en hacer partidas de “one-shot”- de una sola sentada. De esta forma prueban un montón de sistemas de rol distintos que suelen durar entre 2 y 4 episodios. A mi me gusta mucho porque esta bien para encontrar juegos nuevos y explorar ideas y escenarios diferentes, y como cambio, la mayoría de los jugadores son cómicos de improvisación, por tanto las partidas suelen ser una risa. Tienen un poco también la tendencia de jugar a cosas algo mas raras e inusuales, y acaban mas con una colección de historias contadas de forma verbal mas que el tipo de rol que uno espera – de hecho el master, si es que hay uno, es bastante pasivo. No es que me entusiasmen mucho los episodios que tiran mucho por ese lado, pero como hay tantos de los que elegir pues tampoco es un apuro.

Tienen otro podcast de una partida de Star Wars: Edge of The Empire que acabo por convertirse en una campana completa, y esta es realmente la que me interesa mas ya que tiene una gran progresión de los personajes y te partes con ellos. No obstante, sigue siendo una partida un poco extraña en la que los jugadores acaban controlando la partida mas que el Master: acaban pillándose a todos los personajes no-jugador que encuentran, y el Master acaba con su propio PJ. Aun así, como estos se dedican más que nada a pasárselo bien que a “ganar”, pues no importa mucho. Os advierto que se les va la olla, y se pasan mucho tiempo no haciendo gran cosa (dentro de sus personajes, eso si), y por tanto hay episodios en los que simplemente se pasan las horas charlando. Una desventaja que tiene en comparación con las otras, es que no tiene un horario fijo y van un poco por libre y con mucho hueco entre un episodio y otro, por tanto es fácil desengancharse. No obstante, en cuestión de calidad estos son realmente los mejor y la calidad del sonido es perfecta y se hace muy agradable de escuchar.

Dice For Brains LINK

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Este grupo juega al sistema de Fantasy Flight Star Wars (Force & Destiny). Aunque la campaña puede irse un poco desmadrada de vez en cuando, el podcast en si esta muy bien en lo que respecta a poder entender como funciona un juego normal de rol – y con esto no quiero decir que sea aburrido, de hecho tienen momentos geniales y un grupo decente con un muy buen Master, y una par de jugadores ya veteranos con unos pocos que son mas nuevos. Me encanta lo que hacen con el tema de Star Wars; lo bordan, y se portan algo mas mejor que los que ya os he comentado con anterioridad.

El sonido además es genial, y encima le añaden alteraciones: editan voces, les ponen sonidos distintos a los personajes no-jugadores, efectos especiales, música de fondo, etc, lo cual realmente ayuda a sumergirte en la partida.

Crudely Drawn Swords LINK

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Este ultimo le he encontrado la verdad que hace muy poquito. Es un juego que usa el sistema Dungeon World, lo cual no controlo del todo, pero parece que funciona para lo que ellos hacen. Y la ventaja que tiene este grupo es que puedes encontrar los podcasts en iTunes y en Souncloud.

Creo que tal vez sea uno de los mas divertidos de todos, y creo que todo tiene que ver con el hecho de que este grupo esta formado por una panda de Britanicos completamente idos de la olla y que le dan mucho al coco. Creo que este es, realmente, el que para mi representa mas la realidad de los juegos que yo acostumbro a jugar que cualquiera de los otros. Tienen muy buena historia y un buen Master, con un buen balance entre el humor y los momentos molones, los personajes son fantásticos y siempre intentan hacer bromas malas y rolear de la forma mas ridícula posible – pero eso si, la historia siempre se mueve hacia delante, y para mi eso es el mix perfecto de entretenimiento y acción. (Y desde el punto de vista caprichoso, esta bien tener un podcast con acentos británicos en comparación con la saturación de ellos que hay procedentes de los EE.UU – y esto es algo que es intraducible, porque hay acentos del UK que simplemente hacen que te mees cuando hablan).

quality is a bit off then, but other than that the rest is perfectly fine.

La producción y calidad del sonido son realmente buenas, y la edición del podcast esta bien también, incluyendo alguna de las canciones de los jugadores al final. Os informo también que al principio, alguno de los episodios son ellos jugando en persona en vez de por internet y la calidad del audio varia, pero eso cambia al moverse online.

 

Y eso es todo por hoy. Esperamos que os gusten 🙂

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My Name is NPC#4 – Or Why You Should Give NPCs Actual Names

Just yesterday night, I returned to DMing the RPG Alex and I are working on, and that most of you would probably be aware of due to Alex’s magic with cartography and making pretty maps. Well, my post today will not have to do anything with this topic, but something I find that in RPGs is often taken for granted: NPCs. What would you actually do without your good friend Joe the Tavernier telling you that there are monsters attacking the caravans coming in and out of the settlement? Pretty much nothing. Although player interacting is – in my opinion – crucial for a good game, without the NPCs the DM would be 100% bored and the players most certainly lost. So today I am gonna dedicate the post to the many Joes and Daves you’ve encountered in many tales.

One thing that always fascinated me when I was little of the RPGs my parents played, was that my dad always had a quirky character waiting for something to happen in the story and mess up the party – I would love to say help out, but I probably don’t remember that well to confirm such thing….And the thing was that, although this was always my dad, these characters were never the same. Not one merchant was equal to another, nor where the Innkeepers always jolly or informative, neither were his villains always monsters. These were fully fleshed people with thoughts, emotions and agendas – the latter being perhaps the most important one. I believe this is how NPCs should be. The world your roam for your own personal reasons is full of other people, just because Jack didn’t turn up to play, it doesn’t mean that Kronk the Barbarian that you just helped out doesn’t get his 5 minutes of glory. Nevertheless, I find that a lot of people struggle making meaningful NPCs, and even worse, useful NPCs that help the story move forward and add to the narrative.

Now I do understand that perhaps you do not want to give every single potential randomer a name and an identity because that would take forever and a day – fair enough. But NPCs with any sort of in character dialogue lines deserve a few minutes of your attention. I have come to create mine following this system: NPCs death importance tier. What does this mean? Well, exactly what it says in the box. If Joe the Tavernier was to die whilst running the game as a consequence of one of your player’s actions, or as part of the general narrative, would this affect the world you have created in a significant way? Would it change the story you are telling? If the answer is yes, then you need to give this person some traits. If the answer is no, it can just be “genericchaporchapettethathelpsyouguysout”. Of course, depending on the impact and their roles you can invest more or less time in them. Example: in yesterday’s game one of my player’s had established through back story that a certain innkeeper somewhere in town was terrified of them and they would just do their bidding as the generic scumbag they were. I had no plans for this before hand, but I knew if Ekbert (that was his name) was to die, the impact wouldn’t be huge – for anyone other than my player who would have nowhere to stay for free. Therefore, Ekbert was given minor traits on the spot: cowardly attitude, behaving as if he was always seeing a ghost, whatever the Tiefling said, he did. He was a great laugh and didn’t take much from me other than just expression of utter most terror.

On the other hand, we had the recurrent NPC who has appeared in at least one other game and that is related to this story arch closely: Sirielle the Fairy Bard. I knew things about her ever since our last game, and even before because I had decided a long while ago someone like her was vital for the developments of this tale. Now, I could simply not rely on my players to develop such a character in a system that is new and still in the making, with a lore developed little by little every single day. So I had to ensure that what Sirielle represented was championed by myself, in this case in the shape of an NPC of the Top Importance in the Death Tier. The group that was playing yesterday, although experienced players and good friends, are not my usual tag team therefore I was not entirely sure how they would react to this character or her Deathy Dooming importance, so I needed to make sure that the Tier system worked and did what it was supposed to. And this is how without killing (as of yet) a vital character in the story, I tested the fact that the Tier works. The players had engaged deeply with this Fairy for various reasons, and when her life was in great danger, the response was the appropriate one – They Protecc; more to come on this note because this is where we left it for the day.

I have found throughout the years that, the best way to great one of these type of NPCs is to treat it as if it where an actual character. You do not necessarily need to give it all the stats and specifics that a PC would have in their character sheet, but if you treat it as such then they will be much closer to your players’. I think the time investment will pay off. Sometimes I have recycled old characters that are not playable anymore for whatever reason and adapt them to be NPCs – that is not cheating: if they are useful parts of the story, then that is just an easy job, if the system works, why change it. Some other times, I have found most useful to find an actual image of these people. With something as random as “barbarian female orc” into Google you will encounter plenty of illustrations, concept art and amateur drawings of characters of al sorts. And thankfully, because such is the way of images, perhaps there is nothing peculiar about the talent of the artist that made the piece, but they captured a specific moment in time or an emotion that evokes a tale that inspires you, and that may be how Joe the Tavernier was born: father of 4, ex member of the SAS fantasy version that the Emperor of your world has, and that funny moustache? That is to cover a terrible scar from his old days he will tell you about if you roll good enough charisma and have a pint with him. That may actually give you the clue as to who are the people hunting the rogue mage in your party who also has a shifty background, and Joe seems so keen on.

 

Finding Middle-Earth in New Zealand

For the whole month of January this year I was fortunate enough to find myself exploring New Zealand, and while the whole country itself has many places that make you feel like you’re stepping right into Tolkien’s world, I specifically went looking for some of the exact locations that were used in the Lord of The Rings and Hobbit movies 🙂

So I’m going to take you through the places I went, and hopefully you’ll find something about some real world, and fictional locations at the same time!

Hobbiton
The first location really has to be Hobbiton, as its the most obvious location for any LoTR fan to head straight for, and its exactly where I went first out of this list.

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I’m sure everyone knows what Hobbiton is,  but just to give some detail on where it fits into Middle-Earth; Hobbiton is a central village of The Shire, and is located on both sides of “The Water”, which is the main river running through The Shire. The village is overlooked by Hobbiton Hill, usually just called “The Hill”, in which lies Bag End, the ancestral home of the Baggins Family. The village consists of Hobbit holes, also called smials, as the dwellings, but there are also many other buildings of wood, brick, and stone, such as the mill and post office. The standard hobbit holes are most commonly lived in by the poorer Hobbits, aside from smials like Bag End, which are far more luxurious versions of the traditional Hobbit home. Most average hobbits would likely live in standard structures. Although it is located on the Hobbiton set, the Green Dragon Inn is actually located on the closest side of the nearby village of Bywater, just one mile away. Despite what you may think, Hobbiton isn’t actually the Shire’s capital. The title is held by the town of Michel Delving, which lies to the West, and is where the Shire’s Mayor resides.
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Some Thoughts on David Gemmel Books I’ve Been Reading Lately

I’ve spent the last 3 months consuming literature like if there was no tomorrow. I usually read a lot for research purposes, but it was a great relief to actually have some time to just enjoy a good book. I decided that I hadn’t had a chance to read much fantasy lately, so I decided to follow that road. A lot of the books I’ve read are not new at all, save the last one perhaps, but they were things I haven’t had the chance to actually dedicate time to in the past, so it was good in any case. Nevertheless, I noticed that the vast majority of these books I’ve been reading had rather unsatisfactory endings. I don’t know if that was just me being too picky…One of them I am certain is an authorship problem from what I have heard from other people, but it seems to me that in many of these cases, there was so much to the story that by the time it needed to be wrapped up, everything as a bit rushed and that almost made the entire experience a bit bittersweet. So, I’ll just give you some thoughts on the books I’ve been reading and what I made of them so you can see where I am coming from.

David Gemmell

I appreciate I am probably very late to join in this party but for whatever reason I had never heard of him until recently. My boyfriend and one of my friends really like him, they swore by the narrative so I thought, okay let’s give this a go. In general, I liked the stories. I found that a lot of them are reworkings in different contextualisation and with different characters of well known folk tales and other old stories, but he does it in a very refreshing way so I did not mind knowing how the plot was going to go. I often find this annoying if I can predict the outcome of the story, but the details were interesting enough to make me see beyond that. I started with Legend – which I have ben told is perhaps not the best one to start with, but as it was the first one he wrote, it made sense. Then I made my way through Morning Star and Knights of Dark Renown. I must said I liked the last 2 better than Legend. I know Druss is epic, but I just couldn’t get to sympathise with any of the characters in the stories – except perhaps the Thirty, who are a very interesting bunch. However, then I jump on to Morning Star and found that Owen Odell is a nice character to guide you through the story, not just because he is the bard and the breaking of the fourth wall can be quite insightful and amusing at stages, but also because of that first person approach to how any narrative develops. He is just as clueless as you are when the plot begins so his own insecurities kinda mingles with yours. It is a good readers trip in that sense, if you follow me. Morning Star was certainly my favourite just cause Jarek Mace is funny in his picaresque and outrageous way, and the entire gang are very relatable…but then again this is essentially Robin Hood without so much cheesiness to it so, it ought to be. I moved to Knights of Dark Renown and I must say out of the three, I think this one has the best pacing. I felt every character was given equal and relevant importance in appropriate correlation to their characters impact in the story, which I do not feel the other three necessarily did.

However, I have the same issue with all of them: the ending. What is up with his endings?! Legend was perhaps the least abrupt and more satisfactory, I guess that is because after such a great war and battle there are only so many possible outcomes. I feel that every character that survives does it rightfully so and their lives proceed as they should. You understand where the rest of the story goes – okay; cool. But with the other two, I felt that something was missing or better said; dismissed. I guess it is not so bad in Morning Star, as everyone is given a brief explanation as to what their futures bring and what not. Even so the last 30 pages of the book seem to go at a whole different speed than the rest and I just wanted more of the consistency of the story up until that moment in time. This was the point that the plot was driving towards and suddenly it’s upon you and there you go, story ended. It is similar but much worse, I feel, in Knights of Dark Renown, which in my opinion had a better pace. However, when it gets to the end a lot of the characters get sidelined and the ending is done in hardly a couple of pages. Also I don’t really like the fact that the people that survive in this one are just given these lame couple of lines explanations as to what happens next after they defeat the ultimate force of evil…plus the book leaves a fair few questions open, or not entirely answered.

So in general, I really enjoyed reading the books, and then the end kinda made me think…what have I been reading the last 270 pages for? Its is a bit like what I mentioned in a previous update about Orphan Black and Falling Skies…

But, I guess the art of writing is a delicate one and as much as someone may be really good at writing a story, in general, they don’t have to be great at every single aspect of it. In any case, I would like to leave the open question to the floor. Is this a thing anyone else had noticed or a problem shared by others? If so, please exchange your experiences with us.

And we shall see you on the next one 🙂

Game Plan: Board Games Rediscovered Exhibition Review

It was a little while ago now – the beginning of autumn if I recall well – that we went to Game Plan: Board Games Rediscovered, the wonderful exhibition that is on loan at the Sea City Museum (Southampton) from the Victoria & Albert Museum (London). All I can say about this exhibition is only positive. It was a wonderful experience to go and learn about the history of board games and how the hobby has changed throughout history. I thought that the exhibition followed an excellent dynamic with information, items on display and plenty of interactive bits – such as the life-size Snakes and Ladders game. It was really fun and well thought off.This was the main exhibition area. You can see there at the back the dice for the life size Snakes and Ladders, but there were other things you could do. The interactive bits occupied the middle of the room where the space was necessary whilst the information panels where on the sides and walls giving you the context relevant for each game or development era. It was really cool seeing a chess board with pieces from all the way back to ancient and medieval history, up to current times.

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StarCon Santander (01-2018 English & Spanish)

Buenas chicos, esperemos que hayáis entrado el 2018 con buenos ánimos. Aquí os traemos un breve reportaje sobre la StarCon que se ha celebrado en Santander y que hemos asistido el otro día. La StarCon, por los que no sepáis de que se trata, es una exhibición sobre Star Wars que se ha celebrado en el Palacio de Exposiciones de Santander (Cantabria), y que además de la exhibición en si, contaba con actividades para los más peques como la popular Academia Jedi. No obstante, he de decir que mi opinión sobre este evento, no es terriblemente positivo. He de decir que, evidentemente, comprendo que soy chica de mundo y a Santander no llegan muchas historias de este tipo…Pero…

Sup, guys! Bringing you fresh from Santander (Spain) our latest report in the geeky even that took place here just these past weeks: StarCon. This was an exhibition with all things Star Wars related in the Palacio de Exposiciones de Santander (Cantabria) –  aka my home town. On top of the exibition itself, the gallery included an area for acitivites for the youngest ones such as the very popular Jedi Academy. However, I must say that my opinion regarding this event isn’t very favourable. I understand perhaps my viewpoint is distorted because I live abroad, and stuff but…The quality was…well, let me show ya…

zona central de StarCon donde se realizaban las actividades y donde se encontraban los stands de asociaciones diversas relacionadas con Star Wars como el Escuadron Cantabro de XWing. The activities area in StarCon where they also had stands such as the Escuadron Cantabro de Xwing.

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Games To Look Out For In 2018

So here we are in 2018, and in light of all that has happened in the year just gone, our first thoughts should be… “what games should I look forward to?”. Well that’s what I’m most concerned about anyway, and that’s exactly what I’ll be doing right here; looking forward to games.

This is quite simply just a personal list of things I’d be interested in, so if you’re looking for big AAA games, then most of them aren’t going to be mentioned here. Instead you’ll find a mix of my slightly niche tastes, including lots of historical and fantasy settings, and strategy and RPG games. After all, what would be the point of making a list of things everybody already knew about? So go ahead and take a look, you might see a few things you hadn’t heard of just below. 

Continue reading “Games To Look Out For In 2018”