Tag Archives: community

Skull and Shackles – Why Community and Open Licensing Are So Important

Paizo Publishing has started in on their next adventure path, the pirate-themed “Skull & Shackles.” They are supporting it well, with six books of adventure and rules material, the Isles of the Shackles campaign setting book, a Player’s Guide, and the Pirates of the Inner Sea player’s book.

But where it really begins to shine is the support that their rich ecosystem provides – third party publishers and fans, empowered by the OGL specifically and Paizo’s pro-community policies in general.

So from third party publishers, you can get paper minis for the AP from Pathfinder Paper Minis, which has done them for a number of APs. Or expanded ships and ship rules from LPJ which expand on the rules in the Player’s Guide. Hero Lab has the rules content from S&S going into their tool.

But that pales compared to the community support.  Just on the Paizo forums, we have people statting up all the NPCs in Hero Lab. And putting together tools to help track all the pirate jobs and NPC attitudes, and generally helpful things like calculating how far away you can see a ship or creating ambient noise files tuned to the AP.

And that’s why open licensing and promoting instead of shutting down fan sites is good business, and why Paizo is beating the pants off WotC right now.

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Alternity: The Community

Is Alternity a dead game?  Well, of course WotC isn’t publishing it any more, and you can’t even buy the PDFs because of them being huge ol’ bitches.  But between Half Price Books, ebay, and bittorrent, you can get your hands on the materials OK, and there’s still communities out there actively supporting it!

The big one is AlternityRPG.net, or “A.Net” for short.  They host a bunch of great downloads and have some reasonably active forums. If you’re interested in Alternity it’s the place to go.

There’s a lot of fan content too – most notably the two major Alternity e-zines, Action Check and Last Resort! Action Check had folks like Neil Spicer work on it, but stopped in 2002; Last Resort last published in 2009, but you can still download all the extant issues of both.

Action Check E-Zine (16 Issues!)

Last Resort E-Zine

And then there’s the massive Resources list at AlternityRPG.net, with metric tons of player contributed goodness!

There used to be an Alternity mailing list but Wizards discontinued it way long ago.  If you know of a pocket of Alternity goodness out there, let me know!

D&D on TV: Community

If you missed the D&D-themed episode of Community on NBC, the whole episode is online. It’s mighty funny.

Best parts:

  • The Chinese guy done up as a drow
  • The hot crazy chick proclaiming for gnome’s rights (we had a hot crazy chick who was all about monster’s rights in our epic campaign back in Memphis)
  • Chevy Chase (in general)
  • “Huzzah!!!  Is that right?”
  • The chick playing “Hector the Well Endowed” seducing the elf maiden while the other folks take notes
  • “I won Dungeons & Dragons!  And it was advanced!”

I thought it was interesting that it was pretty true to D&D.  The DM did all the rolling, like Zak with the “D&D with Porn Stars” group, which is mildly unusual but good for novices and more freeform older ed play where  you don’t have to roll 10 dice a round.