Saturday, May 31, 2014

Last night's Mass Effect game

The group faces off against a trio of space-wolf things. 

I missed the first half of the session, but the story goes that the group investigated some missing miners at a colony. In the mine we found freaky space wolves, dead miners, and a weird alien obelisk that could create space zombies and mesmerize people. We fought off the zombies, sealed the mine, and quarantined the area. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday night Mass Effect RPG

Here's a photo of our last gaming session from a few weeks ago.  It's a home-grown RPG based on Mass Effect using the Cortex+ rules.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

So did you hear there's a new edition of D&D coming out?

It's all over the blogosphere, but the covers of the latest edition of D&D has been released.

A introductory box set ($20), followed by the Players' Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master's Guide, all at $50 each.  I think the art is better than the "bound tome" look of Third Edition, or the blocky "World of Warcraft knockoff" look of Fourth Edition.  But honestly I find any attempt to discern anything about the game based on the covers to be pretty optimistic on the part of the reviewer.  Ironically, all four covers depict scenarios in which I think the PC should be dead in just a couple of turns, but that's not particularly heroic.  What I do find amusing as hell is how the 1st Edition D&D depicted the game playing experience.

Six guys defeat two lizardmen and then steal the gems out of a idol without a lot of forethought.  Sounds about right.  What about the Dungeon Master?

Two guys face off against a major demon to rescue a scantily-clad woman.   That's what I guess aspiring DM's should be hoping happens in their campaign, but I'd also like to throw that back at anyone saying that 5th Edition's covers seem a little "over the top."

I'll admit that I'll likely pick up all three main rulebooks, first because I'm a collector and second because I'm enough of a fan of D&D to want to take a look and at least consider running them.

Friday, May 2, 2014

So much for April

No longer running a game of my own, I don't have that much to use as material for this blog.  Compounding that, I was unavailable for both the sessions of the Mass Effect RPG my friend is running, although the second session had other people missing it so they tried out the multi-computer Star Trek emulator Artemis instead.

April has been pretty consistently a crazy month for me.  Last year I spent almost two weeks at a work-related conference, in addition to the regular up-tick in work for me that happens every year.  This year it was more travel and work.  So in many ways I'm glad I'm not running a game because I'd just be letting the whole group go into hiatus rather than just me.

Having said that, I do miss running a game, mostly because thinking about the campaign gave my brain something to chew on during long drives or waiting rooms or quiet moments at the office.  I've been thinking about what to run when my friend's campaign ends (which could be as long as a year for all I know) or perhaps some kind of random, one-off kind of game on an odd weekend.

I miss my superhero game, for many reasons not the least of which is that Young Justice is on Netflix now.  We don't have cable, so the show is new to us.  My kids and I loved Cartoon Network's Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.  Young Justice appears to be about one or two parallel worlds over from JLU, since there is a Justice League, but one where Barry Allen is the Flash (ironically both shows feature Wally West as the main speedster character).

Speaking of DC superhero teams, I picked up Aquaman and the Others, desperately hoping that I could find some DCU team book that I could tolerate.  A whole year of no Justice League in the Justice League book is too much, even if I hated them when they were in it.  Teen Titans seems to be downright floundering and heading for cancellation.

I'm not sure the Others is it.  The team is the eponymous Aquaman, for whom I have a sort of hipster-like fondness as the uncool superhero.  He's backed up by a group of oddball heroes (almost like Batman and the Outsiders).  My problem with the Others is that many are painfully bland and generic.  Prisoner of War is a veteran protected by a band of ghosts that are is fallen brother soldiers.  That's kind of a cool idea.  Ya'Wara though is a fur-bikini clad jungle girl with a knife and giant cat, making her basically Shanna the She-Devil.  Or Jaguar from Red Circle/Impact comics.  Or a host of other jungle girls.  The operative is a old guy who is a super-spy like Marvel's Paladin, whose grandson seems poised to take over the name after the old guy eventually dies in some mentor-student transition.  Sky Alchesay is a Native American mystic, making me pine for the Native American comic book character who isn't a cultural stereotype.  Where's the high-tech Native American superhero whose name isn't either an animal or some funky fantasy thing?

I get the common power source notion (each has an Atlantean artifact that an army of generic supervillain thugs are trying to steal) and playing around with the whole pre-established backstory, but the characters seem really lazy as Aquaman, Spy Guy, Jungle Girl, Disturbed Veteran, and Shaman try to keep someone from killing them and stealing their stuff.  My real beef is once again DC is going with a group that also doesn't like each other, like every other group they've built in the 52.  I'll probably read through the intro storyline, but I hope they can get something stronger going than what they started with.

Over at Strange Vistas