Skip to main content

Posts

Friday Gaming Report: Subplots galore

Recent posts

Too Many New RPG's

So what happens when a couple of things you Kickstarted come to fruition around the same time that the FLGS in town has a fire sale and closes?  You get way too many new RPG's all at once.  Right now my nightstand is crowded with them, and I haven't even cracked open some of them yet.  What's on the reading pile?


Evil Hat did a Dresden Files RPG using a proto-version of their FATE rules, and have now circled back to do another using their Fate Accelerated rules.  I got this one as a pdf and hardcover via Kickstarter, and it's a good looking book (although one page was crunched and torn when I received it, it wasn't hard to repair).  I know the source material, loved the TV show even more, and know FATE, so this one might be interesting to get into.

Another Kickstarter come to fruition, Ninja High School uses the old d6 West End Games system (best known for their 1st and 2nd Edition Star Wars rules) to portray the American manga series from Antarctic Press.  I will …

Hexcrawling a City, an early look

One thing I've been slowly working on for the last year is another fantasy sandbox campaign.  My prior one was generally map-based, although a city featured prominently in it.  As time went by, it lost a lot of its "sandbox" quality and became more directed on my part.  In the process, I think it lost something.

So, after being away from fantasy for a solid year, it's time to get back to it.  I spent some of that last year thinking about cities.   Some fantasy RPG treat cities on a very detailed level, with maps of streets, etc.  But while that's fun "map porn" for GM's, how often would the players actually be seeing or using a map like that?  And how long would it take for them to just accrue that knowledge by exploring the city.  I've lived in my current city seven years, with a car, and I don't know how all the cities line up.  What I know are areas, neighborhoods, etc. some intimately, others not so much.  And if I was going to a new cit…

Summertime Gaming, Part Two

There are times when I think to myself, "you know, you could have done a better job being a GM that time."  Last Friday was one of those times.

In my defense, after literally having no one show up for the previous June session, I went from having four, to three, to two, then back up to four people signed up for last Friday's session.  When it was down to two, I scuttled the whole thing and stopped planning.  Then, literally the day of the gaming session, two people pop up as planning to attend, and I'm scrambling for content.

And with a game whose dice mechanic can be as jammy as Bash can be, that meant that we were done way earlier than I thought, and I didn't have much in the way of fallback material.  Like I said, a less-than-superlative job there.

It reminded me why I dislike doing "story" style gaming, because there is always the issue of timing: sometimes you get four-fifths of the way through the story and you've gone way long in the session,…

Summertime Gaming, Part One

Wow, it has been six weeks since my last post.  Well, a lot has been going on.  A ton of person transitions, some vacation time, etc.  But that's not what this blog is about.

Over the last six weeks, my friend John wrapped up his West End Games Star Wars campaign.  I'll admit that I wasn't in as many sessions as I might have liked--another consequence of my many responsibilities these days.  This campaign started as a closed game with a limited number of players but slowly creeped up to around seven or eight.  That's on the high side, and a lot of overlap between certain characters started to show (e.g. who flew the ship).

In the final episode the GM decided to split the party.  This is always a gamble, and I'm not sure if it paid off.  This wasn't the fault of the GM, but rather the fickle hand of fate (and some decision making on the part of the players).  The first half managed to handle their scenario in a very brief period of time, but the second half took…

The Vicious Circle [Bash gaming recap]

I was looking over my blog posts and thought, "I haven't written since March?  Did I even run something this month?"  And sure enough, I had, but had not written a gaming recap.

I suspect part of that was because it was a brief gaming session that didn't move the needle a lot except introduce the group to the archtypical Evil Billionaire Genius Supervillain and throw down with a bunch of supervillain flunkies (the eponymous Vicious Circle).  What was good about the session was some solid roleplaying with the villain and some very clever group tactics in the combat.  That's to be celebrated.

I'll confess to a certain amount of ennui regarding the campaign, however.  Maybe it's all the other stuff going on right now, but I'm not really fired up.  I can tell when things are bad when I end up just recycling plots and swiping NPC's from the back of the book.  Bash! was always meant to be sort of a pick-up, get-me-through-the-divorce kind of RPG campaig…

The Flute of Ymir [gaming recap]

My daughter wanted me to run a Bash! session just for the younger members of the group.  She likes her PC, the Lioness, who happens to be a trained martial artist tasked with hunting a group of supernatural villains (similar to Daredevil or Iron Fist from the MCU, or Sara Lance from Legends of Tomorrow).  So, what fun high-stakes adventure with mystical overtones can I possible reconfigure for a superhero episode?

I went with arguably the greatest episode of The Real Ghostbusters animated television show, "Ragnarok and Roll."

If you need the rationale as to why "Ragnarok and Roll" is one of the best episodes, this blog post does a good job making the case.  Fun side note: it was written by James Michael Straczynski, who would go onto do Babylon 5.  I went with the general skeleton of the plot: morbidly depressed Jeremy decides to use a magical flute to not summon Ragnarok (as in the cartoon), but Fimblevintr, the ice age that is supposed to precede Ragnarok.  I als…