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Showing posts from October, 2011

Two sci-fi RPG campaign premises

I've been thinking about what to do in the very likely case that my D&D campaign is over (and I'll know in about a week).  I had two ideas that percolated up, not that either may be the one, but I thought I'd share them here.  As a bit of a notice, neither are particularly original.

The first was cribbed from an old issue of Shadis Magazine (#45) called "Timeship--Titanic" in which the famous cruise ship has actually been hurled through a time/space vortex, cursed to wander the continuum for all time (or the end of the campaign).  Along the way it picks up people from various places and eras to make up a motley crew.

So basically the Titanic is a gigantic TARDIS without a Time Lord.  There's a couple of issues with this, the first is the word "gigantic."  The Doctor's TARDIS is small, a phone booth, which can easily fit into the utility room of any spaceship or wherever the current adventure is locating.  That means the characters can just s…

Back to First Level, it seems

I wrote this all out as a long, sordid tale, but the short version is this: the D&D campaign in which I'm playing just hemorrhaged four players.  It's not a "we're unhappy with the game" but a "work schedule changed" kind of thing where rescheduling the game doesn't seem to be an option.

So,  we are back down to a gaming group of three: a GM and two players.  Our options?

Pick a game that doesn't require the critical mass of four that 4E doesTry to start scrounging players againall of the aboveI'll let you know how it goes, gentle readers...

End of the World 2011, Day Three

This entry is written by Scott, the judge in the first day's session.



This is a review of the third day of EOW 2011. Since this is Rob's blog, and it would be a little difficult perhaps for Rob to review his own scenario I will give my own review and send it to Rob. My name is Scott. I have been gaming with Rob for a number of years. This is I believe the second EOW we have attended together.

Robs scenario was ostensibly a Morrow Project scenario. This would be Rob's idea of Morrow Project. Gone are the bolt holes, the vehicles, the weapons and equipment. We played a team of seven science personnel who were dug up and moved to a "Morrow” facility before being awakened from cryogenic sleep. In previous blogs, Rob explained the basics of the Morrow Project background. So I will not waste your time or try your patience re-explaining that. Suffice to say the project intended to cryogenically freeze people who would emerge after a world shattering nuclear war for the purpose…

End of the World 2011, Day Two

The second day of EOW featured a post-apocalyptic western.  The locale was an island off some mainland where people lived essentially late 1800's American lives, complete with saloons and undertakers.  The only real government was a local law enforcement official, apparently elected by popular consent, and a quasi-feudal force known as the "coasties" who protected the area from pirates in return for a portion of the goods produced on the island and the local mainland.

The set-up was pitch-perfect. One of the PC's played a local sheriff, in this case Scott who had collaborated a bit with the story.  The others were all brothers whose father had recently been killed in a "farming accident."  Upon arriving back to the family homestead, they discover that their father had been a lawman in his day and had been killed my members of a gang he had put away to prison years ago.  The brothers, armed with the father's secret stash of modern-day era weapons, rode o…

End of the World 2011, Day One

I thought I might give my review of my three-day gaming fest in Columbus called "End of the World" or EOW for short.  This is an annual event for myself and about ten other people, with most of us participating in three one-shot day-long events Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  We use one system, a homegrown ruleset appropriately called the EOW System.  I'll take each day as its own post, just because of length (and to milk it for the week).

After arriving in Thursday and checking in, Friday we had our first session, which was judged by my friend Scott.  This was a little bit of an unusual game because it was not a one-shot, but a session for the quarterly Traveller campaign that Scott is running for the group.  Normally you get three sessions a year, then EOW to cleanse the palate, but this year they decided to have one session be the "home game."  I saw "Traveller" but in fact it only takes place in the Traveller universe.  The rules are the EOW System…

Ripping off books

I had lunch with the DM of my D&D game recently and spent some time describing to him the various one-shot games that show up at EOW (my mini-con coming up next week).  One reoccurring theme is judges ripping off the plot of books for their adventures.  It is an enticing prospect: you have the plot, NPC's, key events, etc. all laid out for you.  Moreover if you liked the book, you'll probably have a good game.  Or so you think.

In reality it never works out.  Either you end railroading the players through the plot of the book, or the PC's go off the rails so badly you don't know what to do, because you didn't build anything beyond the plot of the book. Case in point: last year a judge did a scenario based off a piece of military science-fiction where a stranded leader of an armored company in Iraq travels all the way back to Europe, following the path of some famous classical-era general.  So, we the PC's, are these military personnel who get informed that …