Friday, August 29, 2014

#RPGaDAY Day 29: most memorable encounter

So, so many to choose from....

Okay, so for a while a friend of mine ran two Champions campaigns in tandem: Vanguard and Vanguard Europe (this was during the Giffen era of Justice League, not to mention the Iron Age of comics).  I ran Vanguard Europe, while playing a character in Vanguard (the ever-lovin' Amazing Man).  Vanguard's GM ran a character in Vanguard Europe, a Batman/Moon Knight sort of guy who happened to be team leader (and damn it all, the PC's name escapes me).

Anyways, Vanguard Europe was a pretty powerful group.  There was Shocker, the electricity manipulating telepath; super-ninja guy whose coolest aspect was that he took the perk Direction Sense just so he could always leap up and have the moon behind him; there was also the female flying brick too.  Plus Moon Knight, whatever his name was.

One session this villain shows up with his super-powered female sidekick and he's packing a ton of gadgets that are home-grown to defeat the villains.  For example: an Entangle that absorbed Shocker's electrical Damage Field to then power up a gun that could blast the flying brick.  This guy took apart the team in seconds.  It was the first villain to whom they had ever really lost.  And after defeating them, he unmasked to show this old guy who claims to be Moon Knight from the future, there to stop Vanguard before they destroy the world.  (Futuristic versions of existing characters?  So early 1990's...)

Flying brick lady managed to escape, but before she can attack the villain Moon Knight attacks her, taking her out.  The other players are stunned, but Moon Knight's player says, "I would implicitly trust my future self that I was making the right decision to stop Vanguard."

Which was such a perfect portrayal of his super-intense PC and such a great plot twist all rolled into one.

Sadly, the group was not one that could really differentiate PC from player conflict, and the group never really came back together.  Later, the guy playing Moon Knight would again turn on the gaming group mid-session again, only this time it was because he was letting his personal life leak into the game (he had broken up with his girlfriend, also in the group, but they hadn't told us yet), which heralded the end of the group as a whole.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

#RPGaDAY Day 28: Scariest Game you've played

I think horror is a really, really difficult element to pull off in RPG's, and frankly it isn't a theme I particularly enjoy for the most part.  I play a lot of heroic style games, and I'm sure there have been plenty of tense moments where a lot hinged on a single die roll.

But, I think I'll share instead a sort of scary but mostly funny tale.  After graduating college I moved away for several years, but returned briefly to live in the same state where I attended college for about six months, and got back together with two of my old gaming group to play, of all things, Rifts.  I ran the session and things were going pretty well when suddenly one of the players cracked a joke and I chuckled while at the same time eating a nacho chip.

I began choking, coughed, turned red  and then, after what seemed like an eternity for me but was probably less than three seconds, proceeded to vomit right into the snack bowl.  There was stunned silence for a moment and then one of the players (the one who make the joke) said quietly, "I don't know what you have planned for this evening, but nothing could be as scary as that."

Oh, I need a bit of artwork, maybe a Ramon Perez Rifts piece.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

#RPGaDAY Day 27: Game you'd like to see a new/improved version of

A great game concept with a complicated ruleset.  Don't know this one?  Here's the synopsis.

The Seven Worlds are the good guys, noble individuals dedicated to higher ideals.  They fought a war against the Starguild, a bunch of tyrannical jerks, a lose.  Small clusters of soldiers from the Seven Worlds place themselves in suspended animation in hope of coming back 150 years in the future to try to re-launch a war against what they hope will be a diminished Starguild.  The PC's are a group of these cryogenically-frozen soldiers, who have a strong knight/samurai feel to them, only with powered armor.

Only here's the kicker.  The planet, Rhand, where they are sleeping was actually conquered by an heretofore unknown alien race called the Spectrals, who infect the population with a virus that makes most humans hyper-violent sociopaths.  So instead of waking up in some decaying Starguild society, they wake up in full blown Mad Max-ville.  Now they have to fight off crazed humans and Spectrals while trying to rebuild society with the remnant of low-tech non-infected humans.

What was really cool was how the PC's had to choose which "color" they were, essentially a Hogwarts House-like distinction based on their personality.  It was a nice way of setting into character.  The game was basically a good one for people who liked crunch-heavy combat and world building.

A lot of Leading Edge Games' issues had to deal with their attempt to capitalize on movie franchises like Lawnmower Man, Army of Darkness, Aliens, or Bram Stoker's Dracula.  I played the Aliens board game recently and it was a great one-off game, by the way.
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