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Showing posts from November, 2014

Friday Game Night Recap, Fallout Edition

We didn't expect much of a group the day after Thankgiving, so my son Mac asked if he could run a scratch built Fallout RPG encounter using the d6 Space rules (better known as the old West End Games Star Wars rules minus the branding).
He did a good job, although managing the roller coaster of the d6 rules and the wackiness of ethically murky PC's would challenge anyone.   He came up with a gray, morally ambiguous story involving settlers encroaching on ghoul territory that was meant to make us squirm. Admittedly our response was to pretty much burn everything to the ground and run away, KoDT style...

The Ferretverse, or Ferret International

So if you've been reading Spider-Man lately, you know that there has been this whole "Spider-verse" storyline going on.  For those who aren't reading it, a family of interdimensional vampires has been roaming around feeding on the spider-essences of various spider-men (or women, or pigs, or monkeys) from different alternative dimensions.  Twigged to the situation, a bunch of the different Spider-men have teamed up to stop them, with the Doc-Ock "Superior Spider-Man" in the lead.


Now while I think that Marvel has been dragging this event out for a very long time, and may be using it as a way to test-market new Spider-Man concepts (like the Gwen Stacy Spider-Girl, which appears to be a huge hit), my kids are loving the gazillion different Spider-Men.  One of kids, readers may remember, is the player of "The Ferret" from my Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game last year and now he is on me to create a "Ferretverse" storyline where he can stat up …

Friday game night recap, featuring the Black Orchid!

We are back to Firefly, with the crew getting their strangest job yet. A wealthy bored socialite hires the crew to be part of a sort of live-action roleplaying game. They are essentially characters for her to interact with in her guise as the adventuress "The Black Orchid."
The players surprised me by hatching a plot to use the Black Orchid theatrics to cover an actual casino heist. The best part was watching the players roleplay people roleplaying other characters!
In the end the heist worked but now the PC's have the casino's owners, law enforcement, and the Black Orchid's real life husband (the fifth wealthiest man in the planet) after them!  And who were those "extras" in that one scene shooting real bullets?




Intimidating your Players (or at least their Characters)

So I'm gearing up for another session of Firefly tomorrow and was reading the rules regarding PC vs. NPC interaction when the rules showed as an example an NPC trying to intimidate a PC.  In the example the attempt failed, because the example was meant to illustrate how a player could jack their die roll total up, but it left me wondering what would have happened in the game if the NPC had successfully intimidated the PC.

Players often intimidate NPC's.  For that matter they also frequently bluff, trick, seduce, haggle, or otherwise bamboozle NPC's in a generally social/intellectual manner.  Sometimes this is done strictly through roleplaying but over the last, oh, fifteen years or so it has been resolved through skills.  Roll high enough and they will believe that the sound was a reactor malfunction but that everything is under control and how are you.

What I don't see a lot of is the flow going in the other direction.  In fact I can't think of the last time I had…

My Players Talk About Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons

I thought I would jot down some general impressions from myself and some of the players in my group, following our first try at D&D Fifth Edition.  As a bit of backdrop, I ran the free mini-adventure from Goodman Games “The Wizard’s Amulet,” which I remember running back in the days of the third edition of D&D, but has now been renovated for the latest iteration.  The adventure features about ten pre-generated PC’s, with the optimal group size of six (I had seven), all at first level.  There is an introductory battle (almost a skirmish), a somewhat pointless exploration encounter that is more of an homage to the early days of D&D, and a final ambush that presents a steep challenge to a 1st-level group.  It’s possible in the final battle for at least one PC to die. In terms of how the game went over with my group, most everyone (even the new players) like fantasy as a genre.  It was the first style of game the group played when they came together, and we’ve done fantasy ga…

Flipping Superhero Tropes: the Robot Villain

Even as I'm running Firefly (and I've told myself I'm going to run that game X number of times before I stop, just to justify buying it), and even as I'm doing little D&D games here and there to try out the new rules, I'm always thinking superheroes.

By that, I mean I'm always thinking about running a superhero RPG, always coming up with villain NPC's and jotting down plot ideas, etc.  Most of these don't show up on the blog for loads of reasons (not the least of which is because at least one of the players in my game reads this blog), but I did want to externally process one idea.  And that is flipping tropes.

In Mutants & Masterminds they did a GM's book where they outlined a bunch of stereotypical villains.  M&M actually uses this archetype notion a lot, given they did the same for hero concepts as well.  In the villains there is the mad scientist, the elemental-wielding guy (pick one: ice, darkness, fire, etc.), the robot, etc.  And …

Friday Game Night, Fifth Edition Style!

It's an off-week for the group but we still decided to try to get a game in, not the least of reasons being that next week's regular game night is a bust.  Since it was an off week and two of our regulars couldn't make it, we decided to try out the latest edition of Dungeons & Dragons for a brief one-shot.  I also invited two new people who had expressed an interest in playing: Tony and his daughter.  Tony had played D&D years before but hadn't been able to find a group, and he especially wanted to introduce his daughter to gaming.  I'm a big supporter in getting new people into the hobby, so I was happy to help out.
I can see why the OSR grognards like Fifth Edition.  It has a lot of early edition elements to it--low hit points, limited healing, no more "just make an Arcana check" stuff--while at the same time having some "modern" game aspects, including ascending Armor Class.  We used miniatures because I find it helpful with a big gr…