Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November, 2015

Friday night gaming recap: into the Cauldron

The last session had been a little rough, but nothing helps get me back in the right frame of mind for gaming like a long conversation with Adam from Barking Alien, which I enjoyed the afternoon before the game.  One of his best bits of advice was to talk to my players about where I was in terms of how I felt about the campaign.  I'm really needing to wrap this up, but I also don't want to just see it fall flat--there's been too much time and energy invested in it for that.
So last night was one of our gaming sessions where I'm gaming with the adults, and one of the youth was GMing the other youth players.  I was feeling a little more confident than last week when it came to set-up, and with a particular emphasis on interesting set design and some fun roleplaying the game went off pretty well.  The group took down (with more than a little help), the #2 gang in Grimfest, the Children of the Third House, which only leaves the PC's and the biggest, most powerful gang…

Listen at the door, check for traps

As is often the case, my friend Adam mentions something on his own blog which then inspires a lengthy response from me.  In this case, it was this post, entitled "An Inconsistent Truth."  In it he complains about this issues of pacing, and the way that players can slow play to a grind by being overcautious.

Unfortunately, they don't know how to police themselves (or so it seems). Many of them forego what would be the most interesting, exciting, or cinematic option, instead looking to the most logical option; often making certain it is the surest, safest plan, devoid of conflict, drama, tension, and sadly, emotional impact, and resonance. Right, because for some players, survival is the ultimate point of participating in roleplaying games.  Live to fight another day, get more stuff, etc.   Now that's not particularly heroic, it reflects a more picaresque style of play whose roots go back to the very beginning of RPG's.  Those were the days of Gygaxian lethal death …

Buiding a Fate Deck

One of the overlooked superhero RPG's out there is the Marvel SAGA game, which came out in between the FASERIP game and the weird diceless game that used beads.  It was released by TSR at a time when they were trying to find a way to rejuvenate the stagnating 2nd Ed. AD&D, and the SAGA system represented a huge break from the mold.  TSR did a Dragonlance version, then a Marvel version of the game.

What made it interesting what it required a deck of special playing cards, which was both an innovation and a huge hindrance for people wanting to get into the game.  Games with specialized dice or cards or something you NEED to play the game other than a gaming book seem to be a hard sell to the general public (there's some exceptions out there that I don't need to get into).

Anyways, the game also didn't have a point-buy system but rather went with a more "just think about what the character is like, and assign stats accordingly" which again for its time wasn&…

My Daughter's Fantasy Map

So in addition to all the stuff going on in my home game, my tween daughter decided she wanted to take a turn running a fantasy game session of her own. We worked on the session together with my helping stat out NPC's, etc. Since I also have been developing my cartography skills, I offered to draw up a map. She sketched out a rough draft, and I put it to paper.  

Not too fancy, just showing where various landmarks are in relation to one another.  I'm looking forward to Spell Familiar's game; I'll be assisting her insofar as I'll be on hand to help with running combat and clarifying rules.  Otherwise, it'll be her show.  Four members of the gaming group signed up to play, which just shows how good a group I have.

I'm gaming twice over the holidays: my home game on Friday, and this game on Saturday.  After action reports to follow!

The 400th Post and Friday Night Recap

I suppose it should be some kind of special occurrence to hit 400 posts for this blog.  Let me find some kind of graphic...


But enough of that, let's talk gaming!

Gamed last night, with a mostly youth gaming group, this one composed primarily of players who didn't play in the last session, so I decided to run them as if they were the ones left behind while the rest of the group went to rescue their captured teammate, Sign.  The group uncovered a conspiracy between the two largest gangs in Grimfest to wipe them out, and launched a peremptory attack on the #2 gang and their bizarre lair.


That sounds great, but in reality it didn't work out too well.  Two players kept sniping at each other the entire evening, and honestly my heart wasn't in it.  And if I'm not loving it, my ability to handle players who are clearly having an off night isn't that great as well.
Since the session, the two players have apologized to me and each other, but I think I may try to keep th…

Friday night game recap: the Arena!

After a month off from my home game we got back into things with a bang. The group launched an expedition into the depths of the earth to rescue Sign, who had been captured by Drow slavers to fight in an arena.  Rather than go in guns blazing (or the D&D equivalent) they decided to carefully enter the city under a pretense, enrolled several of the PC's in the arena, and managed to gamble Sign to freedom. 
It really was a great example of how the group has grown. There was a lot of in-character dialogue and even inter-party conflict, all done well. For my end I kept the plot careening around, the tension high, and the NPC's interesting.  It was a solid session.

An early map

I'm continuing to refine my fantasy cartography skills, this time bringing together some different elements: mountains, forests, a lake, and a couple of cities.  There's even a strange stone formation west of the mountains that bears some exploring.