Reddit RPG FAQ
Reddit RPG FAQ
This is the FAQ for /r/rpg. There is a discussion thread too. It should be stated that no external links here are officially endorsed by /r/rpg -- they're just a collection of useful sites to get you started. For suggestions and additions, please post in the discussion thread and reply to one of tekhammer's posts (as it's an old thread and he won't see the posts unless they're in reply to something he wrote).
The FAQ will be a constantly evolving document -- stuff changes, links die, etc -- so don't hesitate to mail any of the moderators of /r/rpg if you have any ideas. There are still a couple of gaps, such as the player tips/resources section, so any suggestions are welcome.
Games marked OOP are out of print and will require hunting eBay and your local book/second-hand stores, but will still provide you and your friends with many hours of gaming goodness.
AKA: da roolz.
We don't really like rules, but because this community is growing, we need to draw some lines on the ground. Stepping over them will not win you friends.
The main aim of /r/rpg is to make this a friendly place for gamers of all experience levels to come in, talk about their favourite hobby, and get help when needed. All games and gamers are encouraged.
Stay on topic
As the name (/r/rpg) may seem to imply, this is about roleplaying games, with an emphasis on the roleplaying. It's OK to post links to/about tabletop (pen & paper) RPGs, LARPs, or even electronic games as long as the focus of the post is about a roleplaying/storytelling aspect.
This mostly gets tricky in the realm of electronic games. It's not OK to post links to video game announcements (unless they are a pen & paper RPG and that game will have heavy roleplaying elements), or to walkthroughs, or DLC, or asking about how to beat a boss. Most of the time, posts about electronic games belong in /r/gaming. If in doubt, message the moderators and ask.
There are no restrictions on game systems or rulesets. If you wrote your own RPG and you want others to playtest it or just to show it off, go ahead and post it. If you still play AD&D 1st edition and have a query, go ahead. You might be surprised to find others still play it and are willing to help. If you've produced a commercial RPG product and you want to promote it, you'll usually find most people receptive to it (unless it's blatant spam or just crap).
Posts don't need to be about established games. As long as they are roleplaying/storytelling games, it'll be appropriate here. Again, message the moderators if there is any doubt.
Don't encourage piracy
Unless you have permission to do so by the copyright owner (in which case you should specify this in your post), do not post copyrighted material.
Out of print does not necessarily mean it's out of copyright, and this is very important to consider. If you can't find a game new, then scouring eBay and local second hand shops should be your first port of call.
Users who post links to pirated material will have those posts removed, and they will be sent a warning. Repeated posting of infringing material after such warning will result in that user being banned from /r/rpg.
Why do we do this? Several reasons:
- RPGs are a small niche. When you pirate RPG material, you're making an already tough market tougher for people who have to, you know, make a living.
- Allowing copyright infringing material on this reddit is effectively saying that we endorse it. That's not a message I want to show to the media industry groups OR the creators of RPG material (several of which are actually on here, btw).
- The industry groups (like RIAA) have shown that they are completely unscrupulous bastards and do not consider any measure too low to stoop.
If you're on a tight budget, then consider looking into any of the many free RPGs that exist.
It's OK to talk about piracy. Just please don't encourage it.
Don't incite arguments with religious/political topics
/r/rpg isn't a place for posts that may incite arguments about religion or politics. These topics will invariably come up, but keep in mind that this reddit is about roleplaying games. Discussions of in-game politics and religion are a necessary part of some games, but posts that explicitly mock religions and politics/politicians may be removed if they devolve into flamewars, personal attacks, and arguments that are clearly not about RPGs.
Don't post image memes/macros
Again, this isn't a hard and fast rule, but with a constantly growing community, it's hard to avoid quick easy-to-consume content such as image memes. They're quick, they're (sometimes) funny, (sometimes) poignant, and they don't involve a huge investment of time to view. However, at /r/rpg, we are geeks and nerds and we love to read, write, rant, and tell stories.
The preference is that people don't post meme images. Some get upvoted disproportionately if they hit the Reddit frontpage, while others will be downvoted into oblivion. If you are going to post images, make sure that the image itself is on-topic without the subject line as context.
Image posts tend to bury "real" content -- ie; discussions, serious questions, and help. The more images get posted, the higher the likelihood of real content being buried. This is something we want to avoid at all costs. Other subreddits in general seem to suffer from a high image:discussion ratio, but at /r/rpg, we want the discussions to outweigh the drive-by content. There are plenty of other places to post this sort of content, and we would prefer if you sought out those avenues instead of posting them on /r/rpg. The nature of Reddit also allows you to start your own subreddit if you're not happy with this policy.
Basically, we allow them to be posted if they are on-topic, but if you see an image get hundreds of upvotes, don't take this as a cue to post your own for karma whoring. Meme posts 'always' receive reports to the moderators, and no other content is consistently so divisive. In other words, if you want to tell us about your game last night, post a short writeup, not a rage comic.
Update: Image posts can now be directed to http://reddit.com/r/rpghumor. They are officially off-topic in /r/rpg.
How Do I Get Started Playing D&D?
Wizards of the Coast have a Media page that has videos and podcasts on how the game is played. This is well worth checking out.
Another way of getting started without any financial outlay is to go to a hobby store near you for the weekly Encounters games. This will let you actually play and see what it's like.
There are a great number of other games available, but D&D is the most common one known in popular culture (probably because it's the oldest and has the biggest marketing budget). Check out the rest of this FAQ for other RPGs in other genres (such as horror, science fiction, and more), and be sure to check the free games section if you're on a budget.
How Do I Find Other Gamers?
Infrno - a gaming social network & virtual table
Looking For Gamers - a reddit aimed at finding gamers.
MeetUp - a generic site for meeting people and organising events.
Nearby Gamers - allows you to search by area and game.
Obsidian Portal map - online platform for organising games.
Pen & Paper Games - forums aimed at helping gamers meet.
How Can I Play Online?
The following are just a few of the many available. Check out the guide to choosing a virtual tabletop program because some are online, many require Windows, and some will run on any platform.
VTable - A free and open java-based tabletop. It combines a whiteboard and chat client (was called GameTable).
Infrno - a gaming social network & virtual table
Open RPG - An open source VT.
Roll20 - A new and very popular VT
RPG Tonight - An old, but serviceable, virtual tabletop.
RPTools - A free virtual tabletop application that allows for online play as well as a large welcoming community.
Screenmonkey - A web based VT. Has free and premium versions. Send game links by email and away you go.
SceneGrinder - A virtual tabletop with many organizational features that supports simultaneous and asynchronous play.
Fantasy Grounds - A premium Virtual Tabletop with a large community and many features.
RPG Virtual Tabletop - Yet another VT.
Battlegrounds - A VT that is very similar to Fantasy Grounds but less focused on D&D.
Kloogewerks - A popular Virtual Tabletop.
ViewingDale - Another basic, yet attractive, VT.
D20 Pro - A D20 focused VT.
Glittercomm - An affordable and feature rich VT.
iTabletop - A premium web based VT. Includes document hosting as well as voice/video chat.
Play by Post
Myth Weavers - The largest online forum for play by post role playing.
RolePlay Online - A large community of play by post role players. Smaller, but more diverse than Myth Weavers.
Roleplayer's Forum - A play by forum community.
RPGFO - Another play by forum community.
Index of Wave RPGs - Like the title says, this is an index of active RPGs on Google Wave. This is the public hub or role playing with Wave.
RPGGeek Play by Forum - Currently a small community, but is a division of the Geek Network so has large potential growth.
Bones - Supports private and complex rolls. For use with IRC. Ruby based.
Richard's Dice Rollers - Standard, D&D, and Alternity versions. For use with IRC.
Skype Dice Roller - Skype plugin that allows for dice rolling. Check the comments for a link to version 2.
The VTs - A fancy list of virtual tabletops along with ratings and pricing information.
Battleground Games List - A list maintained by the developers of the Battlegrounds vitual tabletop.
What Resources Exist For Game Masters?
Gamemastering - "The Essential Guide for Roleplaying Gamemasters"; available as a free PDF
Roleplaying Tips - Weekly ezine for GMs
Art / Inspiration
Treasure Cards Clipart - a bunch of fantasy clipart
Maps and Map Making
Dyson Logos' RPG site - Dyson makes awesome dungeons
Donjon -Random dungeon generator
A Guide to Map Making - by Denis Tetreault
What Resources Exist For Players?
Where Can I Buy Gaming Miniatures From?
Heresy Miniatures - Heroes, Villains, Demons, Undead, Sci-fi
Hassle Free Miniatures - Aliens, animals, fairies, daemonettes, elves, dwarves, humans, orcs and goblins, pirates, undead, mutants, +40mm & 54mm
Mercs - sci-fi military
Miniature Market - D&D, Star Wars, Reaper, and many more fantasy and sci-fi
Troll and Toad - same sort of thing as MM, mostly collectible miniature game figures
Reaper Miniatures - lots
What Software Tools Are Available?
d20Pro - Virtual game table software. Runs on Windows, OS-X, and Linux. Cost: $30 GM license, $10 player license. Free guest and demo versions available.
Epic Words - Online campaign management tools
Obsidian Portal - online platform for running and organizing your table top role-playing games
PCGen - A Java character generation program. Mainly aimed at D20 system games. Runs on Windows, OS-X, and Linux.
Hero Lab - Character creation and tracking software that supports d20, 4e, SW, WoD, and Cortex games.
Where Can I Buy RPG eBooks / PDFs?
What Are Some Free RPGs?
John Kim's List - over 500 listed, broken down by genre
If you're a new-school player wanting to know more about old-school gaming, check out this quick primer for old school gaming.
OSRIC - OSRIC stands for Old School Reference and Index Compilation.
Sci-Fi / Military
Star Frontiers - Created by TSR and is now freely available online.
Post-Apocalyptic / Horror
Mutant Future - nuclear post-apocalyptic science fantasy
Generic / Universal
OpenD6 - Originally designed by West End Games for games like Star Wars. Has since been updated and made free.
What Are the Most Popular Commercial Games?
Dragon Age - Dark fantasy, based on computer game of the same name
Dungeons & Dragons - ye olde classic, up to 4th edition
HARP (High Adventure Role Playing) - Made by Iron Crown (ICE), creators of Rolemaster. HARP is a simpler system, but retains a lot of compatibility with Rolemaster.
Legends of Anglerre - based on FATE system, and fully compatible with Starblazer (sci-fi) game.
MERP (Middle-Earth Role Playing) OOP - Created by Iron Crown (ICE), MERP is set in Tolkien's Middle-Earth. It uses a system that is a streamlined version of ICE's Rolemaster.
Pathfinder - a revised edition of D&D 3.5
Song of Ice and Fire - based on George RR Martin books
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP) - Dark fantasy, based on Warhammer Fantasy Battle.
Sci-Fi / Military
Dark Heresy - Based on Warhammer 40,000. Players play Inquisitors.
Deathwatch - Based on Warhammer 40,000. Players play Adeptus Astartes (Space Marines).
Mutant Chronicles (OOP) - Technofantasy game set in the not too distant future in our galaxy. Dark and gritty, humanity vs demon hordes.
Rogue Trader - Based on Warhammer 40,000. Players play explorers and spacers.
Serenity - based on the Firefly TV show & Serenity movie
Starblazer - Space opera based on the FATE system
Spacemaster - Rolemaster. In Space.
Post-Apocalyptic / Horror
World of Darkness - Joins together the following games:
- Vampire: The Requiem
- Werewolf: The Forsaken
- Mage: The Awakening
- Promethean: The Created
- Changeling: The Lost
- Hunter: The Vigil
- Geist: The Sin-Eaters
DC Adventures - based on M&M
Generic / Universal
GURPS (Generic Universal Roleplaying System) - Example supplements for GURPS include:
Rifts - The Rifts Megaverse(TM), by Palladium Books, is a multi-genre RPG system. It's basically a generic core rule-system that allows players to pick and choose a particular genre, or mix and match as they please. Settings include:
- Rifts RPG
- Palladium Fantasy
- After The Bomb
- Beyond The Supernatural
- Chaos Earth
- Dead Reign
- Heroes Unlimited
- Ninjas & Superspies
Savage Worlds - Published settings include fantasy, super-hero, alternative WWII, sci-fi, pirates, and more.
What Are Some Rules-Light Games?
There is no clear definition of what constitutes a rules-light game, and it probably depends on what you're comparing an individual game to (eg; compared to Rolemaster and D&D 3/3.5, everything is rules-light); but this is a list of games that have been written with ease of play and a short learning curve in mind.
Rules-light games are excellent, not only for quick and easy play, but for convention games, where the GM wants the players to jump in and play with minimal education. All the games listed below are free, as there are
- Barbarians of Lemuria
- Cthulhu Dark
- Everyone is John
- Microlite 20
- Risus - base rules are free
- Wushu Open
- Wushu Open Reloaded
How Do I Tag Posts?
Because /r/rpg caters to all roleplaying games, it can often help players of certain games to quickly identify posts relevant to them.
When making a post (whether a self-post or an external link), and if the game in question is not immediately obvious from the subject, you may prepend your Subject line with an appropriate tag, such as:
- [D&D] - Dungeons & Dragons
- [WoD] - World of Darkness
- [PF] - Pathfinder
- [D20] - Generic D20
These aren't hard and fast rules; you could just as easily just use the full name such as [Pathfinder] or [Rifts]. The main goal is easy identification.
We do encourage bloggers to post links here, and not just for the selfish reasons of wanting more stuff to read. However, Reddit is a community, and we prefer posters to partake in the community. If you're just here to post your links here, using /r/rpg as an SEO enhancement tool, or as your RSS feed, then you'll get lots of downvotes at first, and if you continue, you'll probably be banned as a blogspammer.
That in mind, there are also some etiquette guidelines you should follow:
- Only submit the best of your best.
- If you do a lot of smaller post try and do a roundup every week or two and submit that instead.
- Try and submit two or more other things in between every self-promotional post that you make. Don't force yourself.
- Try and actively be part of the discussions. Post your thoughts on other submissions, ask the community questions or offer advice. Your comments should outweigh your submissions.
For more detail on these guidelines, see Rednightmare's post on the subject.
What Do Those Icons Next to Some Redditor's Usernames Mean?
There are currently two icons that you might see, both indicate that the redditor has won the r/RPG Challenge at least once. The trophy/crown indicates a popular vote winner and the red horse head indicates one of rednightmare's pick of the week winners.
Another recently added feature is user flair. If you see a yellow exclamation mark next to someone's user name, and a location, then they are indicating that they want to join a game in that area. Rednightmare has an announcement with more info and how to use it.
Best of /r/rpg
This section will have some links to questions/answers, or just great /r/rpg posts.
The Ultimate Dungeon Toolkit 2.0 - a list of the ideal items for dungeoneering, as would fit in a bag of holding.
Tips on making players afraid - this whole thread has excellent advice on running a horror game and how to keep players afraid.
Favourite cliches to throw at PCs - a great thread on cliches and plot hooks that DMs can use in their games
Where do you get your adventures from? - Great ideas on how to create adventures and campaigns
A bunch of industry players have recently taken to doing AMAs (Ask Me Anythings) on Reddit. Here's a list (newest at the top).
- Evil Hat Productions
- Andrew Vallis - Art Director / Paizo
- Bully Pulpit Games
- Greg Costikyan - Paranoia, Toon, d6 Star Wars, etc
- James L. Sutter - Pathfinder Editor/Developer. xpost from /r/fantasy
- Jordan Weisman - creator of Shadowrun, Mechwarrior, and Crimson Skies. xpost from /r/IAmA
- Matt Forbeck - novelist, game designer, comic-book writer, and toy designer; including Mutant Chronicles, LotR RPG, Deadlands, and more
What's better? D&D 3/3.5 or 4e?
Well, this is something that will never truly be answered satisfactorily. The reason being that there's no such thing as better. They're just different. A lot of players of 3/3.5e have the expectation that 4e should be exactly the same game and only judge 4e in comparison to 3e. What they should instead be doing is judging 4e as its own entity. But logic rarely plays a part when passion is involved. So with that in mind, here are some of the discussions Reddit has had on the topic (in no particular order).
- Pros of 4th edition?
- Questions about common 4E criticisms
- What does 4E do better? (that Pathfinder could learn from)
- It took me 2 years to figure out what was wrong with D&D 3.5 and why 4e is worse
- Why all the 4e hate?
Here are some specific posts that are refreshingly well thought out and less biased:
- Mechanics & house rules by insanityv2
- Character creation and classes by PD711
- People aren't terribly good at identifying what they want by MrBadNews
We expect the flamewars to cease when 5th edition comes out, at which point all the 4e diehards will nerd-rage over how Wizards (or current license holders) are destroying their childhood.
The Grognard Song
We been spendin' most our lives livin' in a grognard's paradise.
Chuggin' Dew and rollin' dice, livin' in a grognard paradise.
I rolled a 20 once or twice livin in a grognard paradise.
First edition games are nice, livin' in a grognard paradise.
Look at the situation, they got me facin'
Another dragon in the fight, and he's burning down the keep.
So I gotta climb up on his torn wing.
Too many gold pieces around make my eyes gleam.
I a trained halfing sneak, with treasure on my mind
Got d10 in my hand and a crit standing by.
I'm a pimped out hobbit, no stupid kender
and my GP is up, find a money lender! (Fool)
Death for this dragon, just a sneak attack away
I'm feeling burned by his breath, as I fail my first save.
I'm level 23 never will I live to see 24 the way things is going I don't know.
This is where we'll link to interesting things that don't really fit anywhere else in the FAQ.
The previous location of the FAQ for historical purposes. Moved because Reddit are moving away from the Traq system.