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Role-playing Rants: Why I dislike the "sandbox approach"

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A few days ago I've posted a rather controversial tweet about sandbox games, and why I think they're infinitely less appealing than those "on the rails".I also made a terrible mistake of forgetting about how much people get offended these days. My meme-based tweet twisted a lot of panties, fortunately most of the people interacting with it were reasonable and understood its tongue-in-cheek nature. To those people I say: thank you. Now back to topic.
I dislike sandbox games a lot. They're boring, sluggish and only offer the guise of freedom. Shit, I almost forgot - this is of course only mine opinion, even if I present it as a revealed truth.

Anyway, sandbox games - they're boring. Every single sandbox that I was playing or running was suffering from that problem. Even the ones that I watched on YouTube were horribly boring. The main problem here is that sandbox only works if the players have a clear goal for both their individual characters as well as the whole…

Xathrodox86 reviews: "Warhammer Quest 2: The End Times" for Steam

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Yeah, I know that I was supposed to review "Ironclad", but stuff happened and y'all get something else. Almost five years ago I've managed to finish the first "Warhammer Quest" on the PC, and now I'll tell you all that you need to know about its sequel!Let's not beat around the bush here - this title takes place during the End Times, the final death troes of the venerable Warhammer Fantasy. Now, as most people I consider the finale of WFB to be some of the worst written fiction of all time. Fun fact, I haven't read a single positive comment about it! Really, not even one. There were a few people who liked the army lists they've prepared in the ET books, but I haven't met a single person who said: "Yes, the End Times were fantastically written. Can I have some more, please?"
That said there were a few good things about them, mainly the "Vermintide" games. "Vermintide" 1 & 2 are seriously some of the cooles…

"Beat the boredom!" Episode 8: "There are no Such Things as Skaven" by Sami Uusitalo

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Yeah, about that official adventure review - it ain't gonna happen. At least right now. For you see, I've finally read "There are no Such Things as Skaven" by Sami Uusitalo, and have fallen in love with that scenario.Metaphorically speaking, of course! This 2nd edition scenario is probably in my personal top 3 WFRP modules of all time, and the fact that I haven't GMed it yet is a travesty. Fortunately that will change in 2 days, as I'm about to unleash this masterpiece on my unsuspecting players who've just entered Averheim (the change in location is the only alteration I'll make here).
Anyway, what is this scenario about, exactly? Skaven! Skaven, and all of their vile schemes! A prosperous town of Ashendorf, near the great city of Nuln, was visited by the evil ratmen some 150 years ago. The mythical beasts brought with them a horrible plague that decimated the populace of the city, and its ruling elite decided to make a devil's bargain. In order t…

"Beat the boredom!" Episode 7: "Blood Is Thicker" by Sean Korzeniewski and Russell Thurman

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The "Beat the boredom!" series is slowly coming to an end. I've enjoyed it immensely, but it's time to return to my usual writing schedule. Plus I want to write about other things than scenarios!That said, today I will review another WFRP adventure - "Blood Is Thicker"! Written by two authors, it takes place in a small village of Neubühl, which normally isn't even present on any map. Yup, it's that small. Just a tiny hamlet, somewhere in one of the deep forests of the Empire. Lately there's been something going on with the villagers living within its premises. They've begun to act strangely and hostile. Once Neubühl was a welcoming site to any traveler, but now it's full of unpleasant people who don't like strangers and are generally unwelcome to almost everyone. That's not all, however, as more and more citizens of this village go missing, and there is talk of rampant mutations amongst the populace of the town...
The PCs find a d…

"Beat the boredom!" Episode 6: "Strange Harvests" by Professor Eggburger

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You know what I really love? Cheese. Hard, soft, blue, cottage - doesn't matter. I am a dairy man through and through, and so when I've stumbled upon the "Strange Harvests" scenario, I knew that I had to GM it!Professor Eggburger, the author of "Strange Harvests", tells a very interesting tale with with this adventure. It takes place in the south of the Empire, where the sun is always worm, the fields are always green, and the rich, healthy climate allows for the people living there to experience a modicum of joy and peace. No wonder that no one likes Averlanders, eh? They just have it too easy!
Anyway, the party visits the idyllic and rich city of Edelpilzen, where a trial is taking place. A beloved noblewoman has been murdered in the most brutal way imaginable, and the two suspects are awaiting the final verdict of the judges - all of whom are the ruling members of the town, as well as masters of the Cheese Makers guild. The party can partake in the trial …