Saturday, February 20, 2016

Friday Night Recap: Genderbend edition

Emma took a turn behind the GM screen this last Friday.  Emma is one of our young adult players, the daughter of the other players in the group.  Emma wanted to run a little interlude adventure for the D&D group that just liberated Grimfest, but in a weird twist had everyone playing their PC's as if they were the opposite gender (the explanation being that this was a parallel universe to my campaign's universe).

The set-up?  A kingdom's day of celebration is interrupted by a bitter arch-mage with an axe to grind about the king and queen.  After monolouging he stole the city's giant magical gem that provides health and well-being to all.

For a first adventure it went really well, with some fun non-combat gameplay and real effort to involve everyone.  The only problem was that the story went pear-shaped when instead of staying on track my PC (a human barbarian named Maartje who was making her first appearance) didn't ask the dragon where the arch-mage's hideout was, which the GM expected, but why he was so pissed off at the king and queen.  Emma thought up a reason on the spot which had the inadvertent effect of making him sympathetic and the king the main antagonist.  

So, with that in mind, we went back to the castle, killed the king, and destabilized a whole kingdom.  Again.

One high point was when Sign "assassinated" yet another monster, this time rolling crits.  On both dice.
20's on both attacks!  We call that 51 points of damage where I come from.
From here, the other Rob is taking over the D&D game, while Rachel is entering the final sessions of her zombie game and John is preparing to launch his Star Wars game.  Me?  I'm still on hiatus.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Back this game (and dream)

Dennis Parizek was an amateur RPG designer, mostly it sounds like a guy like me or a thousand other gamers, who created his own RPG called Everyverse.  Dennis passed away from cancer, but his wife wants to honor him by having his RPG published.

There is a Kickstarter for this project, and you can support it by clicking here.  I don't know anything about the game, really, but I know a good cause when I see one.

Friday night game recap: hospital emergency!

The PC's explore the horrors of the healthcare system, after the zombie apocalypse
The Friday before last Rachel was in the driver's seat as we returned to Lawrence, Kansas and the nightmarish world after aliens have unleashed a zombie plague upon the Earth.  Having recovered the remains of an NPC doctor's husband, the group returned to the hospital to discover that it had been overrun by zombies.

What followed was a tense exploration of the hospital in an attempt to rescue survivors.  In the end the NPC doctor was accidentally killed by a PC who mistook her for a zombie, but one of the aliens was convinced to see the error of his ways and recruited to help humanity, which is a big win for us.

Two thoughts about the game.  The player who accidentally shot first and checked later was given a lot of crap for what happened, but not by me.  That's because I'm a Genre Fiend, and a spooked guy accidentally killing a living human is not only appropriate for a zombie story, it just happens to be the seminal moment of the granddaddy of all zombie movies.  I kind of feel the same way about all the players who gave me grief for my generally nice-guy PC secretly murdering two gang members whom we captured.  I'll take the emotional complication on my PC, but that's well within bounds of what the game is about: normal people compromising their ethics and humanity in the face of extinction-level events.  

But the other is something even more personal, and that's behavior at the gaming table, namely the question of paying attention.  Now we have a big table (4' by 8') and had seven players last night.  So that means it isn't always easy to see what is going on when you're using miniatures, and sometimes have to wait a few minutes before it is your turn again.  But the whole "whip out your cell phone and surf the internet until it is your turn" thing was really bogging things down for everyone else.

I'm not above blame here on this.  I've done it.  But I also have seen how frustrating it is for a GM to look out and see everyone's nose in a phone.  So last night I told myself I'd keep the phone in my pocket and find something else with which my twitchy fingers could fiddle.  It's a habit that seems to be so prevalent, and I really think could be addressed with mindfulness, discipline, and courtesy.  I'm trying to figure out if I could bring this to my group's attention or not.  Thoughts?

Friday, February 12, 2016

Games, Games Everywhere

It's like the dam broke after the holidays when it comes to my gaming group.

First of all, the one- or two-shot of the FATE zombie-now-with-aliens RPG run by Rachel has turned into at least a mini-series with several more sessions to go.

Then, the other Rob in the group is planning on continuing the D&D campaign I started, with the same characters, but moving onto a whole different story arc.

Finally John is planning on running West End Games' Star Wars RPG once month.

This is a big shift in my gaming group's structure, which usually had a single GM running 2-3 times a month, each time with just some of the gaming group,  to each GM only running once a month for most of the gaming group.  The biggest issue is group consistency.  When I was running a single campaign, people could game twice a month and the group wouldn't get that large.  Now I feel it is likely that everyone will try to make every session, meaning larger numbers at the table.

More as this progresses....

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Broken Token's dice tower

Since I'm in the weeds in terms of RPG's these days, I thought I'd work on a few odd projects, including assembling this miniature dice tower from The Broken Token.  I'm constantly having dice fly off the table, so I thought this would be a fun project.

It required a little sanding of the joints to get it to fit, and I added a smidge of glue to hold it all together.  But it wasn't difficult and looks good.

It can even be disassembled and used to carry dice to and from your gaming location.

It's not particularly large, which I actually like since I didn't want something large and distracting cluttering up the gaming table.

I have actually been thinking about what to do next.  More on that later.

Over at Strange Vistas