Thursday, June 19, 2014

Shoot out at the Inferno

A shot from tonight's game. Bar brawls, PC on PC conflict, and plot twists galore!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Making Random Encounters More Random

So as I continue to create the sandox campaign for Macy's World, I am developing random encounter tables for cross-country travel.  While I expect most of the action to take place within locations like ruins, old temples, lairs, etc., there has to be some perils just wandering around a fantasy wilderness.

But that doesn't mean I can not make those interesting as well, so I've been compiling a list of small elements that will "spruce up" a random wilderness encounter.  I don't have to use them every time; sometimes the group might just run into a small pack of giant wolverines.  But I would like to keep things interesting without derailing the players.  Here's some examples:

  • One of the creatures encountered has unusual white fur/hair/feathers.  It's pelt could be of interest to a collector, if one could be found.
  • If humanoid, the creatures encountered have recently stolen their tribes treasure for themselves, and are on the run.  A larger group of similar humanoids will come across their trail in 1d3 hours.
  • The creatures encountered are typical and have the usual attributes, except that they are capable of low-altitude flight.
So you see how a small pack of flying giant wolverines or a renegade band of kobolds might be a little deviation from the norm.  My plan is to just keep a running list and after each option is used (being rolled from a random list), then I'll just pop in a new one as they come to me.

Flying wolverines just take what they want

Thoughts?  Suggestions for ways to make a random encounter just a little different?  Feel free to leave something in the comments.

Monday, June 9, 2014

I begin Macy's World

In my last post, I mentioned that my daughter wants me to run something for her and her friends. She has been bouncing between a fantasy game and a supers game, however.

Realizing that no effort when it comes to game prep is truly wasted, I have begun to build a fantasy sandbox campaign using the wonderful advice from Welsh Piper.  Now, understand this, and I say this with all the love I can towards Macy--I don't actually think she will recruit a group of her friends to play.  She's going off to a different school than all of her other classmates from last year, and I could tell that by the end of the school year she was already being marginalized in her social circles in anticipation of her not being around in the future.  It's tough being a tweener sometimes.

But with that in mind, I'm not going all out on this sandbox.  Aside from a home-base locale, complete with a few hopefully not too hackneyed NPC's, I'm only creating four regions (25 mile-wide hexes using Welsh Piper's format) and a handful of locations, most of which will be shamelessly cribbed from Dyson's Dodecahedron.  If she manages to pull a group together (with perhaps a little help from Dad) then I'll add onto the map as we go along.

I even found this cool pic of a inn on the internet.

If Macy goes the supers route, she'll likely want Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, since that is the game she is used to and she likes its narrative format.  That's a bit easier, because I have many NPC's already on file from the game I ran for the past year.  MHR also have the benefit of being a game I can run with just a couple of players, say her and her brother Mac.

Could we see the return of the Ferret, along with his new partner, teenage super-spy Alexandra Graves?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Macy's Game

I have two kids: Mac, who has been a constant at my gaming table the last several years; and Macy, who made her first appearance with my Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game with "Ghost Raven," and then "Bubblegum."  Macy is taking a pass on the Mass Effect game going on right now.
Mac and Macy went off to camp this week, and yesterday I went to go buy a couple of comic books to send to them in a care package.  I went to the "store that isn't the comic book store" because the comic book store isn't open on Mondays.  And I found nothing for Macy.  Seriously.  Marvel and DC have both gone off in some pretty mature directions with gritty storylines.  Have you read the Avengers lately?  Apparently Iron Man and Doctor Strange are altering Captain America's memories so he doesn't know that they are planning on destroying alternative Earths to save their own.  Yeah, my eleven-year-old would love that, what with her being a fan of the movies and all.  There's a gap in the market between "My Little Pony" and "The Walking Dead," right now.  It was briefly filled by "The New Crusaders" by Red Circle Comics (the same publisher as "Archie") or Marvel's attempt to do a kid-friendly line with Power Pack and a few other Marvel characters with their "All Ages" line.

Not a bad line-up, right? Although I wish they had Hawkeye and dropped Wolverine.
Last weekend she came to me asking me to run a game again.  She's been pushing for a fantasy game, but has now switched it up to wanting a superhero again.  She's got a character idea--Alexandra Grave, a government-trained superspy trying to enter the world of superheroes and villains.  Macy loves the "distinctions" mechanic of MHR as a way of understanding characters.  But she also missed Ghost Raven, the tragic orphan millionaire philanthropist-turned-superhero and Bubblegum, the wacky-powered babysitting teenager.  The fact that those two resembled the Superfriends-era Batman or the classic Spiderman, or that Alexandra Graves is a PG-rated version of Black Widow doesn't bother me one bit, because those of the heroes I grew up loving as well.  Namely semi-normal people doing something heroic over evil.
I don't know if Macy can convince her friends to play with her, or if I'll just run something for her (and maybe Mac will show up, although Macy would really like to be the team leader).  I'm also not 100% sure what genre I'd use, but I'm definitely an "all ages" kind of GM.  There's a place, I guess, for the Legends of the Flame Princesses or Carcosas out there in the gaming world, but I'm fine with my kid-friendly storylines.  I can still do a compelling villain, a complicated plot, and a great campaign without all the rest of it.  And if I can't find the comic book I want, Macy and I can just make up our own.

Over at Strange Vistas