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How To Start World-Building For Your Campaign

Alright, you’re finally going to play a role-playing game. You bought the books, you learned the rules, you made a sample character. You’re all ready to DM your first campaign.

Or are you?

I’ve heard from a good amount of friends that they would like to GM a game, but they have no idea how to world-build. They’ve asked all their favorite DM’s, but they receive conflicting advice, and in the end, they are left just as confused as when they started. Well, luckily, the reason for that is not only benign but downright motivating.

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Kogim Colony Spotlight (Oakenhowl)

Welcome to the Kogim Colony Spotlight. Today, we’re looking at Oakenhowl! Have a look around, and please, enjoy your stay!




Kogim Names

Ship Upgrades

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Logs from the Valkyrie: The Story Thus Far – Part 6 (An Oasis in Space)

Imagine floating in a damaged spaceship stuck in a spacesuit until it arrives. It probably looks something like this.
Derelict Spaceship by Hakob Minasian.

(Continued from Part 5.)

As time dragged on, doubt began to grow. Ludovico had confidence in his engineering skills, but to most of the crew, he was still a stranger. He repaired what he could, but they could only do so much. He explained while removing his gloves.

“There’s the lack of spare parts, of course. The Space Whale has bit off nearly half the ship. Fuel, food, tools, tons of it was released into space. Without a pit stop or money, any issue that slows our momentum could strand us.” He began to head towards his bunk. “I’ve done all I can. Keep an eye on the sensors. I cannot permit myself to starve to death out here without finally achieving my goal. I am so close to that Stone-”

“Don’t worry!” Captain Elias slapped Ludovico on the back as he walked past him. “Out here, we’d all be killed by pirates long before that happens.” He gave an evil smile, “Or worse.”

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Valkyrie Spotlight: PC Races

Valkyrie Campaign Setting PC Races (playable character races) are primarily humans. The Sartha affectionately refer to the section of space the base setting takes place in as the Human Sector. Therefore, the majority of the population are humans. The few alien species the humans have met up to now have been immigrants, refugees, tourists, and conquerors. The one exception is the Xai, who were sleeping on the human planets long before they arrived.

You will notice one common theme when reading about the alien PC races is that they are all societal outsiders. If you are looking for ideas for humans characters, one suggestion is to create outsiders as well. They didn’t have to start out that way, they may have fallen from grace, or become isolated through success. Have them find out how to find your humanity in the cracks and alleys of the universe. Tell the story of people who have fallen, the difference they can make, large or small.

This will be a brief overview of the races. I will write detailed spotlights on specific races as time goes on. Just remember to vote in the sidebar polls!

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Jason Borrows a House Rule #2: Schmoops and the Wheel of Fun

Once again, it’s time to present a random house rule that can be used in your rpg campaigns – and this time we’re using schmoops . One thing I like about this rule is that it can be used in any turn-based rpg, however, it’s especially useful for those kinds of systems where players have a lot of options. When players have to decide between a lot of choices, it can make turns take too long, such as Dungeons and Dragons (esp. 4th or 3.5) or Pathfinder.

Today’s house rule is brought to you by u/Jurph on Reddit.  It encourages players to take their turns quicker through the use of a carrot, rather than the stick.

So time for me to take out some schmoops and take my turn to explain Jurph’s house rule: Schmoops and the Wheel of Fun.

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Logs from the Valkyrie: The Story Thus Far – Part 4 (Ghost Town)

Continued from Part 3.

The Valkyrie continued to their next planet, the sparsely populated Whitaker 7. Orbiting over one of the many extensive grasslands, they detected a distress beacon a short distance from their destination. The crew looked at each other and nodded.

Art by Yuzhou Xingxing Xinguang

In the wilderness of space, people try to adhere to certain codes. You help others, and others help you. Everyone tries to pass it on. However, as much as common folk attempt decency, not everyone is so polite without the law looming over them…

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Logs From the Valkyrie: The Story Thus Far – Part 3 (A Market as Black as Space)

Continued from Part 2.

Kingdom Come

Harook, Yanamari Seshari, and Brian Arngrim had arrived at Kingdom Come. This space station was the biggest refugee for scum and villainy in the Inner System. The place was dangerous, dirty, and pretty disgusting. However, out of the eyes of the creeping CGU or the claws of the Corporations, independent business could sell illegal weapons and equipment to their heart’s content. If one had a buck, they could always find something interesting to buy here. And if you came here without one, with a little bit of luck or skill, people figured out a way to survive.


Sci-Fi Alleyway, by artist Devon Fay


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Building the Valkyrie: FATE Review

The FATE Review

For my FATE review, rather than just say “get it” or “don’t get it”, I will try to detail what campaigns, DM’s, and players it’s useful for. It has certainly received its polarizing reactions in the groups I have run it for. Still, I highly suggest FATE as a great intro for new RPG players. Especially, those players that enjoy and are aware of the story tropes that lie in the genres that FATE specializes in. Those genres are action, adventure, and mystery (a pulp or noir type of mystery, especially). It has the tools for horror and drama, but it’s not the focus. 

FATE review book, dice, and tokens

FATE book, FUDGE dice, and new Kickstarted metal FATE tokens

This post is continued from Part 1 (Why I chose FATE)

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Logs from the Valkyrie: The Story Thus Far – Part 2 (You Gain Some, You Lose Some)

Beep! Beep! Beep!

The alarm for the ship was blaring. Valkyrie notified the crew that the sensors were picking up a large number of unidentified objects. Her calm, robotic voice contrasted with the loud alarms in the hallways.

spaceship radar screenHarook shuffled his way over to his Sensors Console. The team was barely large enough to cover all of the Officers’ seats on the bridge. So while the Kogim didn’t have a lot of experience at this position, his knowledge of math and science put him there by default. Luckily, they still had the manual, so he had been able to wing it so far.

Harook pressed buttons and flipped switches until the data before him was interpretable, then sent it to the main screen. They all gasped.

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Building the Valkyrie: Why I Chose FATE

Never say I’m not a man of my word.

In a previous post, I explained a little about how I chose FATE as the system to incorporate a space-y setting into. As promised, it’s time to dive deeper into how it works and why I chose it. This will be useful for those who may be new to the game, true, but I also want to use the opportunity to start a discussion on how the mechanics of a system can emphasize the types of games you will want to play.

Look, I understand it can be annoying to learn all new rules for different games. You have to read a new book. You have to push through the fluff to see how to run it and how to play it. However, once you learn a few games, you will start to see the similarities. Then it’s just a matter of finding the major differences. It can be worth it to know when to use what game system to give your adventure that je ne sais quoi.

Fate Core System owned by Evil Hat Productions


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