Epic Tabletop Battles

From the beginning  of  January (Term 2), I have been taking part in the Role Playing Lab at VFS. The RolePlaying Lab consists of weekly sessions in which we meet to play table-top RPGs.

In the case of my group, we are playing a Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 campaign.

Although I have heard a lot about them, I had never got the chance to play a table RPG before. In some way I am glad because now I learned how to do it with an amazing Dungeon Master! Funny enough, our Dungeon Master is a VFS Graduate himself. Diego R. Pons graduated way back in 2006, in the 4th Game Design Class ( we are in the 40th class), and currently works at Next Level Games. Our DM plays all characters incredibly well, and is able to provide us with a deeply immersive experience both with his performance and the soundtrack and images he prepares.

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Game Design Readings : The Code Book

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Two people want to exchange a secret by mail. They do not trust the mail system, and they live too far apart to meet, how can they securely send a locked box without also mailing a key?

The answer is surprisingly straightforward. Person A mails a box secured with a padlock to person B. Person B receives the box and adds their own padlock, then mails it back to Person A. Person A takes their lock off the box and mails it back to Person B, who removes their padlock, opening the box.

I credit games with granting me many interests and hobbies. One of the strongest in particular is a love of cryptography and cryptanalysis, which was started by a game series called Ultima. The Ultima games themselves contained many of the elements that we now consider axioms of role-playing games, but which were at the time considered revolutionary: Character progression, variable party members, ethical decisions, conversation choices — things that we take for granted now were strange frontiers of gameplay for me in the summer of 1986.
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The Ghostwalker Shadow Initiative (GSI) : Managing An Epic Campaign

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While attending the VFS Game Design program as a student, it became a common joke that all of my projects would somehow become epic. This was even carried over into one of the program’s more unusual offerings: the RPG Lab — a class dedicated to teaching students how to play Dungeons and Dragons. The course continues to this day, maintained through the exemplary dungeon mastering of one Diego Pons, and I’ve been lucky to teach the course alongside him for the past two years. But while Diego has been taking students on a journey that may or may not actually involve dragons, I’ve been offering a change of pace by guiding students through a Shadowrun campaign. Or three. More on that shortly.

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