Categories
Musing

It's Hard Not to Make any Modern-setting Game about the News

It really is.

Anyway, here's some random notes and thoughts and stuff that's we've dreamed up for the "long hair = crazy sorcery in a modern setting" game.

—-

Yer a hairy, wizard.

The really short summary:

1. If you have magical ability at all, long hair = how much power you have.
2. Too long/too much hair, and you'll go crazy.
3. The government recruits the powered before they're even out of high school to go into an Enforcement branch of the government to deal with dangerous Unregulated threats. These agents get their power level dictated to them; how long and how much hair you can have (volume, not just length, matters, so you can have super long hair, provided half your head is shaved or something.
4. Even those with powers who aren't in the Enforcement Agency are careful manage their hair, because there is strong belief that if your hair gets too long, the power takes over.
5. All this hair-awareness has led to some crazy cultural obsessions with hair styles. Super-long hair is seen as subversive or an indicator of insanity/danger, even if you don't have any magical ability.
6. Magic use may or may not make your hair turn crazy colors (depends on the person), so the government agents might have really bizarre hair styles in wild colors, and that's just… how it is. The real LN types dye their crazy hair black or something to cover it up.
7. No incantations. It's all "willpower and focus."

History (read: the part were Doyce goes down a background/GM rabbit hole)

In the western European tradition, the classic imagery is all wizards with big beards and long hair; your basic Gandalf. These days, it's just as likely guys with Brooklyn fades and hipster lumberjack beards. http://nextluxury.com/wp-content/uploads/old-school-mens-beard-and-undercut-hair.jpg

There was at one point a trend in western thinking that people were 'beyond' such things until the age of English imperialism, because England was heading out into the world to take things over ('civilize' people) and getting its collective ass handed to it by locals who had in no way given up their magic traditions.

So all that stuff was revived, and any cultures that didn't do things the western way (same hair styles, same icons/tools/etc) were deemed dangerous, lesser, suspicious, and generally hostile. (Unless you rip it off from said culture and pretend it was yours all along.)

I might do something with the magical paraphernalia as well, where channeling tools like staves and wands are seen as okay, but such things from other cultures (knives, spears, juzu beads, kongosho) are 'lesser' or 'dangerous' or both.

Cultural/Social/Government Implications and Random Thoughts

In western culture any non-western head covering that conceals the wearer's hair (gele, hijab, turban, tichel, dupatta, chador, burqa, et cetera) are collectively and unironically referred to as 'terrorist head garb,' which should indicate how well we're getting along with other magical traditions and cultures, worldwide.

Hair with really strong, tight locks (notably African) are often forced through societal pressure to keep their hair shorter or straightened (because 'all those curls conceal volume in less obvious length'). Dreadlocks are also viewed with great suspicion, because the locked curls mean higher density in less obvious length. A dreadlocked African woman wearing some kind of gele is the default 'criminal silhouette' on Enforcement publicity posters.

Oh and if you want to dive into gender issues, you can easily get into the bullshit arguments about men being inherently better at magic than women because they can grow facial hair.

The whole thing is basically YA near-future magic dystopia, so… yeah.

    

In Album 3/21/17

Categories
Musing

Resharing this So I Can Soak Up All the Awesome Later

The maps and art are amazing, and the content is excellent.

#gaming

Originally shared by +Randy M

Here's a little 18 page mini-adventure set in the hamlet of Winterton (previously posted). It's part of a soon-to-be-released larger setting and available as a free pdf download here: thebayofspirits.ca

 
Categories
Actual Play Online Table Top

Star Wars: Rebel Ops Update

I don't make a habit of posting links to the AP videos for our ongoing online Star Wars game, mostly because they're just a LOT of them (21 sessions recorded, with two additional missing sessions where we had technical difficulties).

23 sessions in about 46 weeks isn't too bad, as far as I'm concerned.

I'm sharing this one just because I'm happy with the way Roll20 is now working as our all-in-one voice, video, and virtual table solution, and happy with the OBS recording software and how the whole thing looks. It's not perfect, but it's pretty decent.

Plus it was just a fun session – lots of things going sideways in various ways, which is always a hoot – and set up some stuff I'm really looking forward to.

Visually, not a lot happening on the screen (I didn't use any maps or really drop in too many pictures this time), but I always like having the recording.

Categories
Musing

A very special moment in tonight's Star Wars: Rebel Ops game.

+Dave Hill's rebel character, Ganna, met up with her … friend, Verana (a staff sergeant with the Empire on Onderon), and they had coffee then went to a club.

I asked Dave: "So… do you think this move makes sense?"

————-

Who the *#$%! are you?

The Carousing went late, or maybe the Parley was "too successful", either way when you wake up in a strange bed next to someone… roll+CHA.
* On a 10+ pick 3
* On a 7-9 Pick one

* They aren't someone you hate.
* If this gets out it won't be horrible for both of you.
* You can recall the events that got you here.
* There isn't a third party in the room.

————-

And Dave thought about it, and said "… yeah. I think so."

So he rolled.

And got a 5.

And woke up the next morning.

In Verala's quarters.

On one of the Star Destroyers in orbit over the planet.

The only thing I screwed up was not having the third person in the room be the scary Zabrak imperial agent that just showed up to track the rebels down.

Categories
Musing

Online Gaming Update and Tech Review

(TLDR Summary: Holy crap when did Roll20's video and voice chat get so good?)

I know I don't game as much as some folks manage every week, but I do manage to get a game in on more weeks than not, and that small achievement is important to me.

Most of that gaming is via Google Hangouts and http://roll20.net [^1], so I was pretty bummed – though not exactly surprised [^2] about the news Google is dropping Hangouts' add-on support in April. It's obviously possible to just run Hangouts without the addons, and run Roll20 in another window, but… if you're doing that, you can pretty much use any video chat, so… why wouldn't you, exactly?

We were down a few players on Tuesday, so I and the remaining crew (+Bill Garrett and +Michael Williams) took it upon ourselves to explore video chat alternatives.

Initially, we talked about Rocket Chat, but given that I have some need for Roll20, it became clear all we really needed from that service was the video/voice component, which is provided to Rocket by Jitsi (https://meet.jit.si), so we just went there instead. Set up was very very simple and easy, and aside from the feeling that the camera was really ZOOMED IN, it worked fine.

After checking it out, we thought we might switch back to Hangouts to actually play for a bit, but in the process of switching, the guys mentioned that http://Jit.si's voice and video is basically achieved use the same tools that Roll20 switched to back in October, so if http://Jit.si was good, maybe Roll20 had gotten better…?

(We used Roll20's native voice and video for a few months last year, but it had gotten too buggy and we'd dropped it before this upgrade.)

So we dropped back out of Hangouts, switched to straight roll20 and, following a couple settings changes+restarts, got everyone seeing and hearing each other.

And it was great. Nice clean video. Nice clear sound. And, bonus, we're already in Roll20, which is where I wanted to be in the first place.

So: if you've tried Roll20 in the past, didn't love it, I'd urge you to reenable voice and video chat and give it a try. You might be very pleasantly surprised.

[^1]: The only face to face gaming I manage is with my kids. As an upside, gaming with my kids is pretty awesome. (http://randomaverage.com/index.php/2017/01/hacking-together-a-mix-of-world-of-dungeons-and-my-rebel-ops-hack-of-star-wars-world-to-play-with-my-kids/)

[^2]: Every week we log in to play is a new exploration of what Google decided to disable, break, or make less-good since the last session. It's been like this for at least the last year – steady degradation of functionality.

Roll20: Online virtual tabletop for pen and paper RPGs and board games
This Is How We Roll. Roll20 is a suite of easy-to-use digital tools that expand pen-and-paper gameplay. Whether you play online via our virtual tabletop or in person utilizing our character sheet and dice rolling application, Roll20 will save you time and help you focus on enhancing your favorite parts of …

Categories
Musing

Slapped together a mix of World of Dungeons and my Star Wars World: Rebel Ops hack to play with my kids

Lucky isn't a real stat – it's a non-replenishable resource that gives you an auto success. The five stats should total +3 or so. Having a skill means you can't totally fail that thing. I'm still working out what all the special abilities do, especially "Force is with Me", which isn't automatic for anyone, even Jedi.

And… that's about it. PCs have six hit points, and damage from weapons is a static 1 to 4-ish.

 
Categories
Musing

Confession

I still regularly save images I think might work as PCs or NPCs for an Amber game.

Just in case.

 
Categories
Actual Play

Star Wars World: Rebel Ops

Hey all.

I know there's a fair bit of love for +Andrew Medeiros's Star Wars World around here, so (prompted by +Aaron Griffin?) I thought I'd share a hack of that hack – Star Wars World: Rebel Ops.

The really short version of the changes from SWW is:
* Slightly tougher characters/less brutal combat.
* Different Force mechanics, mostly related to Corruption/Dark Side stuff and how that's handled by the players and GM.
* 66% fewer Jedi playbooks, to match the era/scope.
* Three new playbooks: The Droid, The Partisan, and the Slicer.
* Changes to pretty much every other playbook, except (for some reason) Gearhead.

There's a longer changelog thing on the front page.

Anyway: my group switched from FAE and have been playing with this for a couple weeks now, and it's going well, so I thought I'd share the fruits of many late-night editing sessions.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5y9JJSSCg1pend2TE9TeTFBbDQ

SWW Rebel Ops.pdf – Google Drive
doyce.testerman@gmail.com. Google+ Profile–Privacy · My Account · Profile. Doyce Testerman. doyce.testerman@gmail.com (default). All your Brand Accounts » · Add account · Sign out. Google Account. Doyce Testerman. doyce.testerman@gmail.com. Main menu.

Categories
Actual Play

Star Wars Rebel Ops, PTBA

Second session of running Rebel Ops, using a new (PtbA) game system for everything.

Very enjoyable stuff – good fight, and some fun RP scenes. I'm quite happy with how things are playing out in the new system, and also how it fits with my GMing style.

Also happy with the fact that game seems to be encouraging more player contributions. Weird, because it's not like Fate discourages that sort of thing, but it seemed more prevalent this time. Yay. 🙂

Categories
Actual Play

After a long break, some No Thank You, Evil! this afternoon

+Sean Testerman (5 and a half) wandered into my office, pulled out the NTYE box, opened it up, and told me it had been too long since we played.

We dusted off "Ado, the Sneaky Creature who Runs Like the Wind" (and his Invisible Friend with Big Ears, Ryan), and Ado announced he wanted to visit The Hive (from the land Into the Closet).

I flipped through the various enemies available while Ado Ran Like the Wind toward the Hive, spotted the PERFECT-looking Argle Bargle enemy, and by the time he got there, Ado was greeted with an eerie silence: no bees buzzed around the Hive. He snuck inside and found out they'd all be caught in their own honey (which had magically become alive and evil – the reskinned Argle Bargle).

Ado leapt to help his bee-friends, taking a huge delicious bite out of his enemy. He got honey-walloped in return, but a distraction from Ryan and some speedy running left the evil honey mastermind too dizzy to keep fighting. Victory!

The queen, once freed, rewarded Ado with honey cakes, a gold coin, and a big party.

  

In Album 2016-09-25

Categories
Musing

On Fate and GMing

So I kind of gave up on about halfway through August because the questions weren't that interesting for the second half. That's on me.

Anyway, it's a fun exercise in concept. Inspired (I guess?) by that list, someone came up with an extremely tongue in cheek (I hope) list of questions for September.

Which I also pretty much ignored, because they're mostly joke questions that would require me reliving moments of severe personal head-up-assedness, circa 2009.

However, today's question prompted some pretty thoughtful and useful posts from folks I see on Google+, so I thought I'd take a break from filling up their comment threads and post my own tangential navel-gazing, since it's something I've been meaning to write about for awhile.

The question:

How many friendships have you terminated because they confessed they kind of like to play Fate games sometimes? It’s okay. Fate players have to hear the truth.

Obviously the serious answer to the silly question is "none." Let's have that said.

With that out of the way, I want to post a different-but-related question, phrased (tellingly) as a PtbA-style Hard Move:

"You've spent several hundred dollars on the Fate kickstarters and Fate-powered settings and scenarios, run several fairly long Fate or FAE-powered campaigns, hacked and rehacked the system, designed custom Roll20 FAE character sheets and submitted them through github, and currently run a (theoretically) weekly FAE game, which your players enjoy… but you've come to the realization that you don't actually like running Fate very much. What do you do?"

Yeah. What do you do?

+Eloy Cintron got me thinking about this today, when he wrote "I don't like how it feels in play."

Yup.

I like expressing stuff in Fate terms, but the further I go (and I have run three or four fairly long Fate and/or FAE things since Core came out, including hours and hours of play with my daughter), the less satisfying I find it in play.

Most of it boils down to: No surprises from the conflict system.

Let me break that down.

There's a conflict, dice hit the table… but really, there's not much point, because the results are almost entirely in the hands of the players. That's what I mean when I say no surprises.

Between capitalizing on Created Advantages, invoking preexisting aspects with fate points, and bringing applicable stunts in, almost any individual roll can be turned into a success. And just given compels as a means to refresh Fate Points (I actually do a Fate Point refresh every … five or six sessions, if that), Fate points are almost never a problem, especially since there's reasonably good odds on any specific roll that you won't need to invoke an aspect to get a success.

But don't read that and think I have a problem with player success. That's not it.

It's that Failure, Success, or (that Rarest of Rare birds) success at cost, are all just decisions the player makes, not a result they get and have to adapt to.

See, I'm a big, BIG fan of creativity within constraints, and for me one of the richest veins for that kind of thing comes in a conflict system that you can't strongly influence to 'force' the result you expect.

(See PtbA stuff, basically. That's my sweet spot. You can get it in lots of games, but I especially like PtbA for the largely unmined vein of Mixed Success it sets up in its dice mechanic.)

Put another way, I like getting results that make us introduce something new. I love "Yes, but…" results, because everything after that is something we weren't expecting.

I've got a great group of players in my current game, and they know my love of Mixed Success, but it's Fate, so… even if they blow the roll and I say "don't worry about invoking aspects yet, what about we go with a mixed success?" Even with great players, the inevitable (and fair! given the game system) question is: "Okay maybe… but what's the 'mixed' part going to be?" And we talk through it.

So… yeah. That. No surprises in the conflicts. Lots of resource use and/or negotiation to get to a known result.

Now, I know I can make Fate harder, to give the players less of that control. I know that. I've played a lot of Fate – I've hacked it down to the bone and built new flesh on the skeleton, more than once. I get how the pieces go together.

And I'll freely admit I don't push as hard as I can by using GM Fate points (which +Bill Garrett has called me on). But I know why I'm bad it: it feels adversarial in an unfun way (I'm FINE with adversarial in fun ways).

Boardgame Example: I like challenging games (I'm playing a Pandemic Legacy campaign right now, we're in September and seriously FUCK the C0DA virus); I don't mind losing because something is challenging, but I have less fun if I'm playing a game where the dial for "challenge" is controlled by "how much I (or someone else) voluntarily chooses to directly fuck with the other players at the table by making their stuff harder" – I'm looking at you, Settlers of Catan.

You pulled the short straw and have to be the Bad Guy in Betrayal at the House on the Hill or whatever? That's cool. You're cock-blocking someone's attempt to get Longest Road, just because? Much less fun. That's kind of what "pouring on GM Fate points" or "start everyone with no fate points and 0 refresh" feels like.

I mean, there's a point at which you've tweaked that dial so much you need to warn people they won't really be playing the game system they signed up for, exactly.

Does that mean Fate's a bad game? Nope.

Does it mean I wouldn't play it? No.

Does it mean I won't GM it? No, although I think I'm going to do some sunset planning for the system, in IT-speak.

Does it mean it's a game that doesn't especially suit my GMing style? Yeah, pretty much.

And that sucks a little, because as I mentioned I've got a LOT of Fate stuff on my shelves, and like… 25 sets of dice… and players who really like the game – some of whom I'm pretty sure would not especially enjoy 7-9 "it's a mixed success and you just need to deal with it" results in Powered by the Apocalypse games (which may be my favorite game thing ever).

Anyway. Something I've been turning over for awhile; glad to have it out of my head.

Categories
Musing

An RPG thought that's been bouncing around my head for awhile now

One of the… I'm going to say "dependencies for enjoyment" in many – I might even say "most" RPGs I've run (or run into) in the last few years is a deep knowledge of the genre — not just the genre for the setting, but the RPG genre of the game in question.

So… like this: once upon a time, all you really needed to know when starting to play D&D was "there's magic, no guns, and weird monsters." Same was true, basically, for Traveller or whatever.

Maybe that's still true for 5e versions of those games. Probably is. Anyway.

But there are a WHOLE BUNCH of games/settings out there now that drop a tremendous amount of signal when trying to reach a new gamer, because that new gamer doesn't have the decades of previous gaming exposure that informs the game designer's decisions for a game.

Dungeon World, for example, is fun, and it works with new players, but it doesn't work as well – there just isn't as much there – for the gamer who never played the old versions of D&D DW is reflecting. Ditto Black Hack or whatever.

Same thing is true for genre mashups: Steampunk Planetary Romance isn't inherently cool or interesting as a concept if the person you're sharing it with isn't familiar with the "pure" components of that salad, you know? It's just weird sci-fi with wood ships and a lot of brass and goggles. It might work for the player, but it won't work for the intended/expected reasons.

Masters of Umdaar is phenomenally boring not especially compelling if you didn't grow up on the right cartoons, you know?

I run into this constantly when playing with my kids – lots of stuff I find interesting/entertaining… until I realize that for all intents and purposes, my kids just don't Get the Joke.

First, I need to run the original games everyone's ironically riffing off of, before we can get to the new stuff, or it's not a nuanced re-envisioning for them. It's just… weird and kind of confusing.

When I run a game that doesn't have that problem, it's almost always something only trying to be itself.

Categories
Actual Play

Dungeon World with Kaylee, via Google+ Polls

She got a 7 on her Defy Danger, trying to rush by some guards and get to the big bad, and it's time for Ugly Choices.

(And yeah, I know this sort of scene is pretty bog-standard and not full of the angst and internal turmoil you can get in PtbA games, but for an 11 year old, this choice is plenty ugly enough.)

Man I like running this game.

 
Categories
Actual Play

Star Wars, Rebel Ops – Shadowpoint Housekeeping, Part 1

After a too-long hiatus, we're back to playing our Star Wars approach-less FAE hack game. Short session, but we got started again, which is the main thing.

Lots of wrestling with Roll20 and Hangouts, again, because Google. 😛

Anyway…

Our heroes have seized the double-secret Imperial installation on the planet of Onderon, once called “Whisper Base,” for the Rebel Alliance.

They now have access to a secret, off-the-books facility plugged into the Imperial communications network—a powerful resource for the struggling Rebellion. However, while the Imperial bureaucracy at large does not have any knowledge of the base, the PCs must still contend with its master and originator, Moff Dardano, who is willing to do anything to recover his lost asset without allowing his rivals in the Empire to learn of its existence, much less of its capture. It is only a matter of time before the Moff takes action to reclaim the base and bring it back under his control…

Categories
Musing

RPGaDay – August 18: What innovation could RPG groups gain the most benefit from?

This is already happening, but the tech behind online meetings and collaboration is probably the future of 'tabletop' gaming.

If you want me to get slightly futuristic and not-already-extant, let's go with the tech behind smart-device enabled Augmented Reality ("AR": like Pokemon Go); not to be confused with Alternate Reality Games (ARGs). Give me a library of stock animated critters and a way to hook them to GPS coordinates, so I could GM a group through a virtual wilderness adventure along the bike paths of the nearest green belt park? Yes please: I would love doing something like that with my kids.

 
Categories
Musing

RPGaDay – August 17: What fictional character would best fit in your group? Why?

Finn, from The Force Awakens. I just think he'd like playing a paladin, and he seems like a nice guy.

Categories
Musing

RPGaDay – August 16: What historical character would you like in your group? For what game?

I'm going to read "historical character" as "famous person, living or dead," and then answer Benjamin Franklin, playing Dungeon Crawl Classic.

 
Categories
Musing

August 15: What types or source of inspiration do you turn to most often for RPGs?

The people at the table, first and foremost.

After that, podcasts run by enthusiastic people. Genre-relevant TV. Recommended books…

Pretty much anything, really. I ran a year long WHFRP game based on Iron Maiden album lyrics, once.

 
Categories
Musing

August 14: Who would be on your dream team of people to game with?

Ooh. That's tricky. Thing is, I'm not sure all my favorite players would be very compatible, all in a single group. Let's see.

I'd really like to run a game for +Lee Kenyon +Tim White +Kim Stone and +Kate Testerman. I don't know (or very much care) what game, but I believe I would enjoy that group a whole bunch, and to my knowledge they've never all been sat town at the same table for a game, ever, so there's that.

No offense at all to all the other folks I play with, I just think that'd be a fun group.

 
Categories
Musing

RPGaDay – August 12: What game is your group most likely to play next? Why?

Well, odds say Star Wars FAE, since that's (allegedly) the ongoing game I'm running, and it's scheduled for tomorrow.

If you're talking game most likely to be introduced and played next, Dungeon World or Monster of the Week.

Why? Because I really want to.

August 13: What makes a successful campaign?

See "the things that make up an ideal session answer from August 9th."

Categories
Musing

August 11: Which gamer that you have played with has most affected the way that you play?

Probably +Tim White – he makes me roleplay more and narrate less when I GM. "More actor, less writer!" he demanded, memorably, one session.

 
Categories
Musing

RPGaDay – August 10: What was the largest in-game surprise you have experienced?

In my old Amber campaign, Things in Heaven and Earth, Benedict, rather than losing an arm in his duel with… whoever in the books cut off his arm… was blinded.

Somehow, and I don't really remember how it happened, the players decided that the best way to help him recover his sight more quickly was to get him to walk the Pattern again. This was accomplished by having one of the players' characters (one with really high Endurance, I'm sure) walk the Pattern themselves, with Benedict sort of walking in their wake, holding onto their belt or something.

This was done.

It was quite exhausting for the player character. They got to the center, Benedict thanked them, and the PC had the Pattern take them out to the edge of the room, where their siblings and cousins watched.

Then one of the players said: "And then Dworkin shows up in the middle of the Pattern and teleports away with Benedict."

The room went dead silent.

And we decided it was just too damned cool not to do, so that's exactly what happened.

The next time they saw Benedict, he had the Jewel of Judgement embedded in one of his eye sockets.

 
Categories
Musing

RPG A Day, August 9: What things are a part of your ideal session, other than the actual game?

More and more, I treasure a diverse group of players. A table full of white dudes is a missed opportunity for a better game, I think. More women. More kids. More people from backgrounds I don't share, bringing elements to the table that otherwise would never be there.

Also? Laughter. I don't want to screw around, but I want to have fun, and while tension can be fun, I want to see smiles, even if they're caused by pained chuckles from bad die rolls.

Finally: engagement. Throw in your ideas. Get excited and start making stuff up. That's my favorite thing.

Edit to add: Like +Richard Rogers, I play mostly over Hangouts or Roll20 these days, so I would be remiss if I did not mention how much good, reliable tech contributes to a good session. Solid connections, good sound, considerate microphone use, et cetera.

 
Categories
Musing

August 8: Do you prefer hardcover, softcover, or electronic books? What are the benefits of your preference?

I like ebook versions of RPG texts, which are unfortunately as rare as hen's teeth. PDF is… fine. Not great. Pretty much unreadable on small screens (I sometimes have my phone's pdf viewer read them aloud while I drive, which is … differently sub-optimal), while larger screens are less easy to carry around.

Paper books are the clear winner for any book I plan to reference a lot in play, because it's still too difficult to flip to another part of a text while 'holding your finger' somewhere else in the book.

Bonus Content: I wrote about how to make e-readers suck less as reference tools three and a half years ago, with pictures – http://doycetesterman.com/index.php/2013/01/e-readers-suck-for-reference-materials-but-they-dont-have-to/

On the other hand, if I'm just reading something, electronic is fine.

I just wish we could get away from PDFs and more toward ebook formats.

 
Categories
Musing

RPG a Day, August 6 and 7

August 6: What is the most amazing thing that you know a game group has done for their community?

http://www.facebook.com/gamersgiving/

August 7: What aspect of Roleplaying Games has had the biggest effect on you?

I've been gaming for so long, and it's impacted so much of my life, it's kind of difficult to sort out what's related to or impacted by gaming, and what isn't. Here's a few things I know would not be the same with me, were it not for gaming.

* My ability to speak to and lead group discussions/classes, and manage small group dynamics.
* My writing, both in terms of subject matter and sheer volume of practice.
* My circle of friends and acquaintances.
* I would never have met my wife and, by extension, wouldn't have met my kids.

Day to day, though? I suppose it's the fact I can't watch a TV show, see a movie, or read a book without considering how it would work as a game. I don't know if that's a benefit or not, but it's definitely an "always on" feature of my life as a gamer.

 
Categories
Musing

I really need to start running Monster of Week

Soon.

 
Categories
Musing

RPG a Day: August 3rd, 4th, and 5th

August 3 What is something you have done with your game character that you are the proudest of?

I really don't get to play very much, so I don't have a long list of these kinds of examples. I never really been a player in a long campaign – I just run them. 😛

Back in the heyday of DnD 3.0 and 3.5, I participated in all the local gaming conventions, especially the "Living" campaigns, since that let me actually, you know, play. My main guy in the Living Greyhawk campaign was Gwydion, a kilt-wearing skald (couple-three levels of barbarian, the rest bard). He was a ton of fun to play, and managed to pull off some pretty great tricks (detonating an entire necklace of fireballs, with only four hit points at the time, and surviving – probably tops the list).

I was especially happy when, at around level nine, events in the campaign and the path I'd taken Gwydion let him move into the "Spy" prestige class as he became an agent of the Crown of Furyondy. That was pretty cool.

I played him again, about a year later: older, grizzled, married, with a missing hand, and managed to berserk and pull off a 'trip' maneuver against a young black dragon, leaving the big bastard prone for the group's rogue to take apart. People still talk about that one.

Gwydion's probably the guy I wish I could play more.

August 4: What is the most impressive thing that you can remember another player’s character doing in a session?

The first thing to come to mind is +Margie Kleerup in our Star Wars game, fairly recently, driving a landspeeder across the backs of a herd of stampeding bantha as they thundered down a narrow canyon.

That, and probably +Kate Testerman's character from our short Don't Rest Your Head game, making paradox-level time travel totally work in an awesome way.

August 5: What story does your group still tell about your character?

As mentioned already, probably the time I successfully did a grapple/trip attack against a black dragon. He was only one size category bigger than my guy (Large), and not TOO strong, so with Berserk on (I was playing a Barbarian/Bard multiclass), I think I just needed to beat the GM's roll by… eight or something.

Basically, I had to roll reasonably well and he had to roll poorly, and that's pretty much what happened. 🙂

 
Categories
Musing

RPG a Day Catch Up

Missed the start of this during a crazy Monday, so here's a couple answers.

August 1: Do you prefer to use real dice, a dice application or program, or use a diceless system?

I prefer to roll real dice, at a table, but these days playing online via Hangouts and/or Roll20 is so much more achievable on a regular basis, so in terms of simple volume of rolls, recent data indicate "virtual dice" (I happily pay a monthly subscription to Roll20 to support their service, and it's worth every penny.)

August 2: What is the best game session you have had since August 2015?

This one: https://youtu.be/mz7f6RFBdKQ

My favorite line is right around 2 hours, 27 minutes, when Mike sighs, closes his eyes, and says "I really hate this place. I hate this place so bad," about the creepy cabin.

I really need to run more *World games. It just suits my GMing style right down to the ground; it's like running Amber Diceless, but with dice, in a weird way.

 
Categories
Musing

Honest Slogans

 
Categories
Musing

Quote of the Week

"They [Nintendo] could add way, way more game if they felt like it. I mean, as much as they wanted. It could be tremendously sophisticated. They could [(for example)] teach people to play the game at all."