With Christmas around the corner, everyone’s thinking of what to get their favorite people. If your favorite person happens to be a fan of non-electronic gaming pursuits, things can get a little difficult. After all, where do you find the right game, dice or other goods that will make them happy without having to order from overseas?

Good thing then that there are now a lot of different options for finding geeky gear for your favorite Philippine Gamer

Abubot.ph

The newly launched Abubot.ph fancies itself as a local version of ThinkGeek. Right now their inventory is a little slim, but it’s a good selection that showcases the kinds of geekery that they’re looking to bring to the country. From statement T-shirts to Dungeons & Dragons, board games and polyhedral dice, they’re certainly looking to be one of the ones to watch for your dose of geeky fun.

http://abubot.ph/

Gaming Library

The Gaming Library is a heavyweight in the local businesses, with an online store and a hefty inventory of board games, wargames, card games (collectible and otherwise) and roleplaying games. I’m glad to see that they’re bringing in a good selection of RPG books, including Dungeons & Dragons, but also Numenera and Star Wars: Edge of the Empire. I’ve also seen a Legend of the Five Rings book now and then in their inventory.

Added bonus? They accept special orders.

http://www.gaminglib.com/

Paladin Hobbies

Specializing in bringing in miniatures for your tabletop gaming, Paladin Hobbies has a great selection of minis perfect for Fantasy RPGs. What’s more if you’re looking to really impress your gamer friend, see if they’ll enjoy being the owner of a massive dragon miniature! They operate off a facebook page, so feel free to message them there.

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004643297724

Fortress Games

If your gamer friend is into miniatures, Fortress Games is a great place to go. These guys carry Warmachine and Hordes, as well as Malifaux and Infinity figures as well. They carry board games and card games, but have only a very small selection of RPGs for now. That’s about to change though with the store bringing in every D&D 5e release so far. Hopefully they’ll be willing to expand to other game lines as well.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fortress-Games/218390014895230

Neutral Grounds

Even if you’re not a gamer, it is almost impossible to not have seen Neutral Grounds. They’re by far the biggest franchise of hobby gaming in the country, and they carry a wide selection of various games ranging from Magic: the Gathering, to Warhammer 40k. They have a broad selection of board games as well. They used to carry a lot of White Wolf and D&D games before, but I think we’ll start seeing them stock more RPGs in the future if the hobby continues to pick up steam.

https://www.facebook.com/neutralgrounds

And there you have it. If you’re looking for something to brighten up your favorite gamer this Christmas, hit up any of these retailers and I’m certain you’ll find something that they’ll like.

Of course, don’t forget that the best way to make sure that they enjoy your gift is to go play it with them!

Fight Class: Progress Report

Posted: November 19, 2014 by pointyman2000 in Fight Class, Roleplaying Games
Tags: ,

Hey guys,

To those who remember, I was hoping to get Fight Class out by this year. That said, things have happened that have managed to significantly slow (and in some cases) halt progress on the game.

There’s still quite a bit of rework to be done on the rules, and I’m setting up another playtest session or three to try out the mechanics I’ve written all in hopes to be able to finally launch the game by next year. With regards to plans of putting this up for crowdsourcing, I’m still considering it, and I’ll see if I can realistically commit to being able to make stretch goals for the game. Otherwise it might be fair to everyone to just release the game outright after layout for a relatively affordable price.

With regards to the artwork, my lone artist has been working very hard, and she’s recently given me a glimpse of the cover artwork for the game:

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We’ve been gunning for the concept of making the image similar to that of a character selection screen of a fighting game. Clearly there’s still work to be done with regards to the layout, but I’m particularly happy with the character portraits.


We continue our series looking at the various genres of RPGs within the context of Philippine gaming, and how viable they in terms of how well Filipinos here can relate to them.

Today we’ve got our sights set on Horror, by far one of my favorite genres to run. If you check out the categories sidebar, I’ve got a ton of posts for the World of Darkness. But enough about me, let’s get to the subgenres of Horror.

Action Horror

By default, a lot of Horror RPGs tend to drift towards Action Horror, but in terms of a cultural connection, I feel that this is an under-represented genre in Filipino Gaming. The Philippines has a very large body of monsters to fight against, and I feel that these deserve a lot more attention in gaming tables here.

Part of the reason here is the cultural impact of monsters. For example, it’s really difficult to get people in the Philippines to take a Werewolf seriously, or a Banshee even. They’re definitely iconic monsters, but the innate fear of these isn’t present as they aren’t tied to the Filipino culture.

Besides, a lot of players here aren’t as familiar with local monsters, and being able to spring something truly alien and different is worth its weight in gold.

Gothic Horror

Aside from Ravenloft, Gothic horror doesn’t quite have a place in most Filipino gaming tables just yet. It could come from the fact that gothic literature hasn’t really taken off here, and that most people here think of Anne Rice or Stephanie Meyer as opposed to Bram Stoker when you say “vampire.”

That said, I can certainly see where this could work. Again, a Rizal-era vampire in Manila story would certainly pique my interest. Or even a tale featuring Prometheans during the same era, stalking the gaslit streets of Intramuros in search of the true meaning of humanity.

Psychological Horror

Here’s a tough one. A lot of horror set in the modern-day also deals with Psychological horror, with little to no supernatural intervention, but an overhanging atmosphere of dread. This is a difficult one to pull off, and one that could definitely work.

Culture can play a role in this kind of horror, playing on elements of modern Filipino society as a source of the dread. Disconnection from the family due to having to take a dead-end job in a call center, where you start getting threatening calls from a mysterious person who seems to know far too much about you, for example.

These games require an incredible amount of buy in from the players, but if done right can be beautiful. Philippine gamers tend to prefer more action in their games, but there’s a recent trend of gamers who are more willing to try games that have heavier emphasis on story and playing a character as opposed to shooting monsters in the face, so there’s certainly hope for this.

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Horror is pretty universal, but Culture plays a key part in making it relatable. In order for something to feel alien, you need to establish a baseline of familiarity, and that’s where culture comes in. I think that Horror is a distant third to the usual Fantasy-heavy RPG population in the country, but I’m fascinated to find out what people have been doing with it as there’s a lot of potential for some truly memorable games.

Next up we’ll tackle Supers and Anime, two related genres that have significant popularity in the country, but does that popularity really translate to the gaming table?

[Philippine Genres] Fantasy

Posted: November 5, 2014 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Roleplaying Games
Tags: , ,

We’re continuing the series ofarticles looking at the various genres available in gaming and seeing which ones of these resonate best with the Philippine gaming scene. In many ways, this is sort of an opinion piece of how I’m seeing the feasibility of a genre surviving beyond a pitch phase when being presented to a group.

Today Fantasy genres get the same look, with the subgenres for it given special attention.

Historical Fantasy

Here’s an interesting subgere to start with, as it is perhaps one of the most interesting. The Philippines has had a colorful history of being a colony of multiplie countries, each of which has left some mark on this relatively young country. As such, our history lessons give a lot of emphasis of what life was like under each of those who colonized us.

That said, many players would not hesitate to jump at the chance to play in a setting that has historical basis, but with the slightest amount of magic or edge. Adding a steampunk twist to the life and times of Jose Rizal, for example, or even the addition of competing magics of the more animistic native religions versus the Roman Catholic faith brought by the Spaniards would work immensely to add to the playability of such a setting.

High Fantasy

High fantasy works differently here in the Philippines. While we do have the understanding of the usual Tolkien tropes of elves and dwarves and wizards with pointy hats, the real kind of high fantasy that ties more closely to the culture is that of our myths.

Philippine myths are rife with Exalted-level deeds performed by equally flawed individuals. Emotions and base motivations run rampant, with lust for glory and amorous desire for the hand of a maiden fueling more than one insane romp through the islands in our histories.

Fantastic creatures play a crucial role as well, but not as fellow inhabitants of society as with most stereotyped western fantasy. The Diwata and other creatures are mysterious, dangerous and often unpredictable. It would be wise to deal with them with extreme care.

Low Fantasy

This sort of fantasy is still decently easy to pitch here. Again the same mindset that I described in the last article about cyberpunk rears its head here. Conan and other sword-and-sorcery heroes fit right in with the pessimistic mindset that we have.

Add the fact that we’re a culture that idolizes our villains (as evidenced by the countless action movies starring murderers and vigilantes as protagonists) and it’s no surprise that low fantasy is an easy sell for most GMs.

The trick, of course, is to make it relevant. Filipinos respond well to the local hero flavor, so even if their characters are pretty much ruthless bandits in all but name, making them the local heroes of a struggling community could result in interesting twists to take a story on.

Given the nature of our reaction to sci-fi, fantasy makes for a much easier pitch. While our brand of fantasy differs slightly from the western take, there are enough parallels to make the jump without much trouble.

Next up, we’re taking a look at a mixed back of other genres including Horror, Modern Fantasy, Supers, Anime and Espionage.


Today we’re kicking off a new series of posts talking about the various genres available to RPGs, and how they reflect to the cultural context of the Philippines. In many ways it’s an interesting experiment to see just how the Filipino culture lends its own twist to various genres.

With that, let’s take a look at Science Fiction. It’s a broad genre and one that we can further break down into subgenres that we can pick through.

Hard Sci-Fi

This is probably the one variant of sci-fi that won’t get a lot of interest. The lack of popularity of hard science fiction in Filipino RPGs lies with the fact that many of us simply haven’t reached the point where we’re ready to dream of the stars.

As a third world country, the cultural mindset is focused heavily on survival or the acquisition of wealth and security. This makes us largely incompatible with the lofty ideals of space travel through technological means designed by humans and built by spending vast resources.

If your country is still focused on the concept of modernization of basic things, space is the last thing on your list of priorities.

Obviously, this isn’t to say that it’s not without fans. I know several people who are big on science, but many of those have difficulty putting together a group.

Space Opera

This is perhaps the one that is more compatible with the local mindset. Star Trek, Star Wars and other forms of spacey entertainment such as the phenomenal Guardians of the Galaxy presents a sci-fi world that is full of wonder and excitement. Filipinos love this stuff and I will admit that this is perhaps the easiest genre to sell to them.

Handwavium and rubber physics are perfect for this genre and most Filipino gamers are more than willing to accept the lack of in-depth detail and just roll with it. These games tend to cleave towards classical storytelling structures and tropes, with evil galactic empires and space princesses which are all perfectly compatible with standard fantasy.

This is helped along by the popularity of anime in the Philippines. From ultra-electromagnetic giant combining robots to modern giant-drill weilding super robots that fight on top of galaxies, anime is a huge part of popular culture in the country.

The success of local work such as Mythspace, for example, is indicative of the kind of acceptance the vast majority have for this take on sci-fi.

Cyberpunk

Here’s an interesting genre for me. In many ways, Cyberpunk’s built-in cynicism, distrust for authority, and inherent corruption makes it incredibly well suited for the Philippine mindset. I’ve written about this before, but we practically LIVE in a Cyberpunk world.

Filipino gamers already know how to act in this kind of setting, and many play characters with the flexible morals necessary to make it work. There’s no need to explain the nuances of the setting beyond how cybernetics work, as the realities of the blurred lines between crime and justice is something that Filipinos live with every day.

Perhaps this is why dystopian settings work so well in local games. We’re wary of optimism, but are willing to accept the harsher reality of dystopian settings. After seeing so much corruption in our politics, and the lack of real justice in society, it’s no surprise that we’re much more suited to darker themes and stories.

In the next installment, we’ll take a peek at Fantasy, and see if there’s any difference in terms of how Filipino mindset treats those genres.

This series is meant to be open to discussion. If you want to weigh in with your thoughts or just tell me that I’m outright wrong, feel free to do so in the comments and we’ll talk about it.