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Showing posts from March, 2014

Book Review: Odyssey by Phil Vecchione

I have to admit up front that part of my problem with Odyssey by Phil Vecchione is that I read and loved his book, Never Unprepared.  Never Unprepared dealt with session preparation for the GM and was a tight, informative, ridiculously helpful book.  I went into Odyssey, a book on campaign management, with similar hopes, but ended up disappointed.  This isn’t to say that Odyssey is a bad book, it just came under the bar of his former work.


First, the good parts.  The book tackles an ambitious topic, not the running of a game session, but actually managing a full blown campaign.  The book tackles this several sections, including how to create a campaign, how to manage the campaign as it goes, and how to end it.  I find the section on ending particularly apt, given how I just ended mine.  Each area has this fictional gaming group of three players and a GM introduce and close each section, first with the GM doing it wrong and then with her doing it right (kudos to the authors for making…

The end of the Ultimate Posse Campaign

As I mentioned a while back I was pretty sure that my Marvel Heroic Roleplaying campaign was drawing to a close, and rather than just suspend it or worse have it peter out I decided to end it in an intentional manner.  I told the group it would likely be the last session, and that I would be tying up a bunch, but not all of the plot strands that had been about in the game.  So thusly warned, we gamed last night, and here's the recap (GM's notes in italics)...

Previously...
The Ultimate Posse, a superhero team that came together in the years following an alien invasion of Earth, had managed to infiltrate the Zodiac, a supervillain collective and launch an assault on their space station base from within.  Taurus, the leader of the Zodiac, escaped along with Ares (Headstrong) and Cancer (King Crab), and two heroes in disguise--Samkhara who had become "Sagittarius" and the Ferret who was "Libra."  Ares had managed to capture Dr. Mind, who was unconscious.

Taurus…

Understanding your players

Aaron Allston died February 27th of this year, and the gaming community lost a big contributor to its long and varied history.  I was particularly sorry to hear this, because Allston had written one of the biggest influences to my own gamemastering, the Champions II supplement Strike Force.  I have written about Strike Force at length on this blog before, but for those who missed it Strike Force was essentially a campaign journal in which Allston shares what he learned managing a superhero campaign that spanned several years and multiple gaming groups playing in the same "universe."

I mention this because right now, as my Marvel Heroic Roleplaying campaign winds down and I enter into a months-long hiatus, I have been thinking about doing a more intentional job of constructing the next campaign.  That means first understanding the needs and tendencies of the players, and Allston wrote a brilliant little segment that has been borrowed heavily in many other games about this.  H…

Wrapping Up

As I mentioned last week, two of my players welcomed in a wonderful baby boy last week (and there was much rejoicing).  This prompted me to throw together a D&D 4E dungeon crawl for four of the other players (including both my children), and a "guest star," the child of another player.

I'll say right now, when you have three players under fourteen years of age, with unfamiliar characters, and you're playing Fourth Edition, and your're just doing a three-encounter railroad, you need to adjust your expectations a bit.  Especially when it is four hours long.

Moving on, I'm running into the inevitable holiday-related gap in gaming that accompanies both Spring Break for the kids and the Easter season, when work up-ticks for me.  Because we only game every other Friday, this means that missing a Friday or two can mean that we end up going a month or more without gaming.  As a result of the vagaries of the schedule, we are going to not be gaming in March, and w…

Modular Dungeon Walls

As I mentioned over at my other blog, it once again got very cold and very snowy here--perfect weather to polish off a few projects that have been sitting around. 
I've been slowly building up a modular dungeon using Hirst Arts blocks, and I finished off a few Gothic Arena wall sections that can be used to spice up the flat floor tiles. I think they add a lot of versatility to my modular dungeon, as you can see.