For things you want to incorporate in your campaign, be it characters, items, or attacks, my advice is to look at the relevant source material if you can. Watch a few episodes or find some screencaps, and decide how powerful you want the character/item to be compared to your players. The system is flexible enough that if you don’t see anything you like in the handbook you can create your own attributes/sub attributes without worrying. For Kaguya specifically, consider that she summons and controls lots of youma at once. I would give her a high Mind stat if it were me personally, but it depends on how you interpret the character.
For the Space Sword, consider the capabilities it has in the anime that you want to incorporate. Use that to judge what level Item of Power it should be, and how much damage it would do in combat.
From what you sent me Sailor Pluto’s abilities look reasonably well-balanced compared to her canon abilities, but make sure you remember that in the series, actually stopping time is taboo! Using that ability would result in her death, which happens in both the anime and manga, so keep that in mind and see if you can incorporate it into a plot point, or something that can save your players in an extremely bad situation.
In my experience, coming up with stats for creatures and opponents works best when you consider the capabilities of your party. If they have high levels of Senshi/Knight Attack and can do a lot of damage in a single round of combat, higher stats are probably better. Generally speaking, if you want something close to the canon Emerald Dragon in terms of stats you’d probably want high body, low soul, and very low mind.
From one DM/GM to another, remember that flexibility is important. If your players are progressing through a combat faster than they should be, use your DM powers and conveniently add some HP mid-round. If they’re having trouble getting past something you intended to be fairly simple, pretend to botch some of the opponent’s rolls. This greases the wheels of the combat and adds to player experience, just try to be discerning. If you have to make big changes like this every time your players get into a fight, you might want to rethink the way their opponents’ stats work.
Gah, I actually don’t know how to answer this very well! All of my experience is in person, and I’ve been fortunate enough that there was enough of a roleplaying presence that I haven’t needed to do any networking. I’ve done a ton of online roleplaying, but on a one-on-one basis and without the guidelines of a system. I have friends who have done it, are doing it, but the general consensus from them that I’m getting is that they managed to drum up people they already knew who then said they were interested. So with all that said, I can point you in, hopefully, the right direction. I don’t know if you’re familiar with it or not, but there’s a website called Obsidian Portal that is a super-great tool for making your campaign’s resources available to all your players. Stuff like NPC bio pages, session notes, maps, pictures, and even your players’ character sheets! Navigating a campaign’s page is sort of like Wikipedia, so for most people on the internet it should be intuitive. I’ve used it before as a player and I think it’s a great resource (and that was even before you could have character sheets!). It supports Big Eyes Small Mouth, which is the system the SMRPG is a specific branch of. A lot of people use it to find games in their area, but I know people who’ve used it to centralize their online players. From what I can tell people also use the forums to recruit for their online campaigns, so it might be a good place to start! (I’d recommend clarifying that the SMRPG is a branch of BESM though). Good luck! I’d be happy to answer more of your questions.
So the campaign work has been going well. I haven’t actually finished a single drawing of my NPCs (something I wanted to provide to the players at their introductions), but that’s less important. What I’ve noticed, though, is that it’s becoming hard to resist the temptation to go crazy with their backstories. I’d rather not go all-out with them, because I want to keep them flexible if I need to add things or make changes. I don’t know who all my players are going to be yet, but I’d like to keep them interesting and engaging for everybody (and not just me). Plus, I really want the players’ decisions to be an important part of the campaign, partly because the element of choice (if you can call it that?) is something I’m trying to build into it as a theme in the narrative; in addition of course to being only the entire point of RPGs. Not just “do you want a red fuku or a blue fuku?” but “will you question this suspicious character or will you rough them up for information?” that become increasingly more influential on the course of the game.
But nevertheless, my NPCs are still OCs, and like any of my other original characters they’re my brainbabbies and I’ve become attached to them. I’ve used them in The Sims 2 to better understand them. And I really want my players to be able to appreciate all of them. I’ve thought about it a lot, apparently to the extent that I dreamed about it last night, of me writing a fiction about how two NPCs met each other. (And appropriately I got stuck after the first two sentences. XD) To turn this post into something constructive though, I’d like to give some advice to DMs and players alike when it comes to everybody’s feelings.
If you’re a DM, it’s difficult to not take players’ reactions to your characters personally. But the way I try to think of it is, if they feel strongly about somebody, good feelings or bad feelings, then you’ve done something right. (Or, conversely, if they don’t feel anything at all about an intentionally bland and boring character, right on.) If you’re a player, try and take a second to think about the work the DM went through to make engaging NPCs, and I recommend thinking about it so you can separate your thoughts from your character’s thoughts on them. Gaming is about having fun and crafting a unique and enjoyable adventure (for me at least), so it’s important that everybody can.
Doing campaign work from a queen-sized hotel bed. Aww yeah. Yeah sure it’s just the Quality Inn but damn if I don’t feel like the ritziest gamer alive. XD These pillows look like marshmallows. But, but but, I just had a fabulous idea:
Tabletop sleepovers. Not sleeping on the tabletop, but rather NOT sleeping while you game on the tabletop. Aww yeah. >D
Okay, I’ve filled my derp quota for August with this post. Jules out!
When I responded to sammilouwho’s ask about character sheets, it got me thinking about them. As I said I’m not very impressed with the sheets provided by the system, as they waste a lot of space with biographical information that could easily go, say, on the blank side of the sheet or in the player’s notes. There’s a typo on the senshi sheet (“Bonues Points”). And, they’re a bit heteronormative for my tastes; scouts (female) have a slot for a favorite gemstone, while knights (male) have one for a favorite sport. I’m not saying that this information is less important in creating a character, but it sure does end up, I think, sitting there to the detriment of the character information that you would actually want and need to look up on a character sheet the most often - stats and abilities. Stats are off to the side in a little box while you have tangentially relevant information like blood type and birth date taking up three inches of line space, both things that need a quarter of that much space to actually write down.
For my own ease of reference, and getting more and more familiar with the character creation process, I have spent time making character sheets for all the NPCs I currently think will need them (i.e. having abilities and stuff that a character sheet would be useful for documenting). And ignoring all of the “fluff” in the system character sheet entirely I consistently needed almost a full page or more for stats, attributes, defects and derived vales. The result was a character sheet that is easy for me to read and made tailored to the way my brain works when I look for information, with plenty of space for not only the relevant information but notes and clarifications on in-game consequences that result from the character’s abilities as well as stuff jotted down for my own sake.
To make things even easier I made the “sheets” in basic text document format. I used Microsoft Word, but obviously this is something that can be done with any word processor. I make a straight-up mess when I erase things on written character sheets (with my huge handwriting no less), and there’s really nothing better to call it but that. Having them on my laptop means making changes will be and is free of grief and messyness, and it was super helpful when I was still changing things around with my NPCs at the creation stage. Hell, I made some changes as I was writing this. Technology ftw.
If the situation calls for it, I definitely recommend making your own character sheets even if they don’t have fancy boxes and whimsical fonts and logos on them. It’ll make things easier. Nobody likes to be miserable while trying to modify a dice roll, because that’s just stupid. I plan on showing the format to my players and letting them decide for themselves what kind of sheet they want for their characters. The original sheet works for some people, and so it definitely serves its purpose. I’ll also encourage them to think about making their own sheet that will work best for them, as I encourage everybody to do if you think you stand to benefit from it.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for following!
That is so cool, it makes me so excited to hear that somebody else is up to some coolness! :D I do actually have the official character sheets; I knew keeping this link would come in handy. All three of them are there! I did find it pretty stupid that only a senshi character sheet was included with the book.
I thought that the character sheets had a lot of dumb fluff and didn’t use space very efficiently, so for my NPCs I did my own format and I’ll let my players choose whichever they want. I could post a skeleton of it if you want.
Thanks for messaging me, and good luck with your game! X3
So it’s officially August. Which means September is close, and I’m excited. A lot of people don’t necessarily look forward to the fall semester with much anticipation, but I’ve got something special to, well, anticipate. That’s right, I’m running a Sailor Moon game! >D It is going to be pretty cool, I think. I’ve really been enjoying the planning a lot more than I thought I would, because my own idea has captured my imagination and been easy and entertaining to write and plan for. I guess you could think of my game as being similar to a fanfic, but in essence that’s technically what a lot of RPG campaigns are - stories based on a premade world. But I’d like to think that my brainbaby is more than that. It was great that reading the manga counted as “research,” and that it was a cool opportunity to introduce my cool friends with similar interests to the SM fandom, but I knew from the beginning that I wouldn’t be staying within the boundaries of Naoko Takeuchi’s beloved creation; and really, that wasn’t a very practical option anyway.
I’ll be gaming with people who have next to no knowledge of the Sailor Moon universe, so I can’t fairly expect people to be able to work within that framework. Which is fine with me, because I love the characters and the places the way they are. I’ll also be working with people who’ve likely had little to no experience with tabletop roleplaying - I’m running this game for my college’s tabletop club, and we get new members every year with varying levels of experience. So giving the players premade characters, I think, would deprive them of the experience of character creation which is one way in which I think players become more invested in the game and emotionally “bonded” to the characters they’ll be playing. I think that these are things that all DMs and GMs should keep in mind, which is why I bring them up.
To me, a game is a collaborative effort. Just as every character contributes to the group, so should every player have a part in decisions that influence the story. That’s my DMing style, and I’ve experienced several others - with excellent results. For my game, I’ve chosen to not plan everything out in advance. I’ve chosen to let the player characters decide what direction the story will take after the initial bits, while gently guiding them toward what looks promising and rewarding for everybody. I’d really like this game to capture the imaginations of my players just as I’ve said it has captured mine. With all these things in mind I’m making something that everybody can shape later, based on the following premise:
It is ancient and revered tradition that every generation a group of strong and noble warriors, or senshi, presides over and protects the planets and celestial bodies orbiting around the star Eridus (or Epsilon Eridani to us Earthlings). A new team of young senshi is bravely stepping forth to protect their homelands from whatever dangers may present themselves, but are they prepared to go against the system’s first visitors if it comes to it? This game will explore the ideas of character and the human spirit, the home and the familiar versus the other, and teamwork and perseverance. We will explore an expansion of the Sailor Moon universe created by the game master, Jill, and use both some of its cherished classic elements and new storytelling directions.
I really hope that when we begin I will be able to hold the interest of my players. The bottom line of gaming is that interest is ultimately what makes a great game, and in that regard I intend to play for keeps.