Tuesday, 2 February 2016

One round left

For the most part game mechanics should be the perpetual angelic child that is seen and not heard as far as a clean gaming experience is concerned. One cannot of course help but take note of particularly slick systems due to the abundance of poor  mechanics at the other end of the spectrum and it is an often visited subject at the club.
The Feng Shui system has left me in two minds regarding this. As eye wateringly fun as the content is I was left with the impression that after the last action packed episode that we had after a coupe of hours gaming only actually completed one round of play. Now to be fair, we had split the party up and were all baying for the GMs attention so this was always going to test GM Jack's sanity as well as bending the system in several directions. It is also not all that uncommon for a particular session to slow when everyone is off doing different things, more so in various combat or hand to hand scenarios.
However things are not all that they seem. Feng Shui basically creates a points ladder upon which every character is placed according to a starting initiative and as actions are expended by all concerned, npc's included, everyone slowly jumps down the ladder. All the GM has to do is count down the ladder until each character is encountered and an action performed whereupon they are moved down again - as characters leave the action they are removed from the ladder. As a picture is still worth a thousand words here is what I am trying to say
I did find a reddit on this so in someone else words:
Everyone rolls a d6 and adds their speed, this is the "shot" they act on. The person with the highest shot goes first. They perform an action which has a "shot cost" and their "shot" is reduced by this cost. After the highest shot goes, the GM counts down by ones and everyone whose current shot is that number goes.
Example: I rolled a 5 on a d6 and have a speed 8 so my starting shot is 13. I have the highest shot so I go first. I do a regular attack which costs 3 shots, I perform my attack and my shot is now 10. Once everyone with 12 and 11 goes, I get to go again. If multiple people have the same shot number, PCs go first and if multiple PCs have the same shot number, they go left to right from the GM.
So the upshot is that actually this isn't a round as such but a sort of collective noun for several rounds. I don't known what that is...rounders ? Either way we are now at the bottom of the ladder after which I can only presume we roll our shot dice again and like all things in life it's a matter of understanding it properly to appreciate how it works.
The rather large cave troll figurine represents the head chef in a kitchen where I am having a slight altercation. I hadn't realised he used to work for Sauron but either way he has an empty Pizza box belonging to me that needs to be recycled properly so a gunfight is now ongoing. That makes me an eco warrior of sorts I suppose. Above is a quick shot of GM Jack mid game when we are all trying to ask stupid questions.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

X Army Nutcase

Last week I had the pleasure of joining the Feng Shui game which was one of the most hilarious roleplaying episodes I have experienced in recent memory. Thinking back I have been playing a lot of Cthulu, Savage Worlds and DnD in more classical settings but it was wonderful to be back in a B Movie scenario. The character I pulled out of the bag for this one was a 'Full Metal Nutcase'. Pretty much says it all there so I had to quickly contrive a character based on the Kubric movie and gave him some sexual dysfunction for a laugh to inject some more stress into his mindset.
It was one of the amusing plot hooks of crowbarring a character into the game that I have seen, in that he was the Pizza delivery driver who came to the party's base after the last mission and was instantly recruited presumably based on his excellent logistic skills.
When I was walking home with a little more time to spend thinking about it some even better X military brain frazzled characters came to mind. Initially I recall Bill Murray's Carl Spackler in Caddyshack who progressively destroys an entire golf club in the hunt for his nemesis, 'The Gopher'. This is not a pseudonym for a criminal mastermind by the way, its an actual gopher. If you haven't seen it then you need to be black bagged and forced.
I am also reminded of the awesome Brock Samson from The Venture Brothers animated adventures. An absolute gem of a B movie world of would be Super Villians and international crime fighting organisations all just trying to do their jobs by trying to take over the world whilst also trying to make sure they hoover regularly, get the kids to school and feed the cat.
But in retrospect it is Walter from the Big Leboswki that is the cliché clincher for me. Anyone prepared to go to war over the right to drink coffee and defend the constitution of his local bowling club with armed force has to be a nutcase worth knowing.
I'm going to see if I can get a quick character transplant for the next game.


Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Crystal Maze

So it appears, or rather it transpires that we have appeared, within an ancient underground complex of some description, not Dwarven though by the look of it. The archaic teleportation pads that we are using could have delivered us anywhere but more to the point it looks like this end of the transport system has been neglected for some decades; where the stone plinth isn't worn with age it is covered over with moss and fungus. Problem for us is that it is voice activated and keyed to a specific word. It has occurred to us on the other side of the jump that the word may of course be from a ancient or dead language and a pertinent occasion to make sure that the languages section of our character sheets hasn't been neglected as is so often the case. Either way we have no way back at present.
There being no backwards, forwards was the only option available so we mapped out what we could of an underground complex, somewhat  unstable in structure and emanating a faint evil glow. I was grateful to have de-sanctified an alter with my axe and got an appropriate level of book burning in but we are still lost in a maze full of rooms, traps and secret exits. On the plus side we did get through a physical room full of animated statues that intervened to bar our way but between our addled brains and a Tiefling that we picked up, we shuffled through unscathed.
Lastly we managed to get past a mystery room full of dangerous portal doors to various unholy and ghastly locations, really by trial and error and also by some hit point loss.
Where are we now ? Don't know, I hope we have a avoided a lock in, but I have a feeling I now know who is behind all of this...
As for the FengShui currently running, I hear that they have completed one of the chapters of their adventures by slaying a cyber gorilla. Not sure what that is but I am imagining something like a KingKonginator.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Dont leave the pub

When one has a little more experience as a role-player one generally tends to gloss over any pretexts as to starting and adventure. Indeed, the GM and players are always keen to get things going and sometimes a potentially amusing little preamble is lost.

GM Jo has kindly been running a Savage Worlds game whilst our DnD GM gets off his night shifts and the stop gap game did start with us all in the pub. We were called out to investigate the sewers and find out why people are going missing and why there are rats abandoning their homes en masse. I find that rats are to be respected in all of their characteristics where attacking swarms are concerned as well as generally being of the right side of providence when abandoning ships, buildings or in our case, sewage systems.

Falling to the occasion we descended into the rather disgusting medieval main sewer and then spurred off to a slimy sub junction, some of us deftly traversing a 30 foot drop into more sewage, round a couple of stinking bends to several rotting zombies. Hacking our way through these we then had to contend with giant spiders webbing us down in more filth and finally onto a room where a summoning ceremony was just completing. Fortunately we managed to take out the central character involved in this quite quickly before the minions were upon us as he was standing in the middle of a swirling vortex of his own making. Though it was pointed out that the person in question may have been a sacrificial victim rather than an instigator. Either way the greater good was at stake.

I do believe we finally made our way back to the pub, though I am not sure if stopped for a shower, we did arrived in time to finish our pints.

So if a concerned citizen asks you to leave the comfort of a welcoming inn and a legendary Beer of Repute to go down into a shit hole you may consider saying no.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Whats going on ?

Well, its time to put down your mince pies, take up arms and start arguing again with your favourite GM.
Its been a weird club break for us as both Christmas eve and New Years eve fell on our Thursday night but its important to take a break once in a while from the worlds we create to take a break in.
Of course your new years resolution is to come back to the club and start re rolling your favourite numbers so sharpen those pencils, warm up your dice and check the sell by date of any munchies left over from last year.
By way of a whimsical post today I shall defer to the following article on the 24 Most embarrassing DnD character classes:


1) Fighting Man
2) Beggar
3) Peasant Hero
4) Arctic Druid
5) Defiler
6) Anchorite
7) Barbarian Fighter
8) Clown
9) Fetishist
10) Unicorn Rider
11) Dandy
12) Labourer
13) Thug
14) Pest Controller
15) Rapid Response Rider
16) Ghetto Fighter
17) Goblinsticker
18) Mouseburgler
19) Mine Rowdy
20) Lost Druid
21) Pacifist
22) Mountain Man
23) Paladin of Slaughter
24) Urban Druid
We are on for DnD, Fen Shui and Changing Breeds this Thursday so if the Gods ride with the public transport system then I will see you all there, beggars included !

Friday, 25 December 2015

Happy Cthristmas

Merry Christmas one and all to every race, profession, construct, dead, undead, spirit, illusion, hallucination, manifestation, god, demigod and jester !!!!!!!!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

The Plot Thickens

First of all, I should note is that I am no longer running a World of Darkness game...
The whole line has been renamed into Chronicles of Darkness!

With that out of the way, I shall note that since I haven't used either of the scenes I had prepared for last session, I only had a bare minimum to prepare for this one. Our were-polar-bear had a nasty surprise when he was coming home only to hear his dogs barking that there's an intruder on his territory. Yes, he has the uncanny ability to understand animal speech to some extent.

Suffice to say, Devlin's attempts to remain sneaky and locate the intruder in his own home ended up being fruitless. Fortunately, he called in the cavalry and VT managed to spy someone sneaking out of his house by the backdoor. A chase ensued shortly thereafter.

I personally don't require players to have read an entire corebook just to sit down and play. That sounds like way too much homework to me. Games should be accessible for newcomers and I found no surer way to discourage someone from gaming than slapping him with a 300+ book to read within a week... oh, and make sure you'll remember everything.

It's been my rule for quite a few years now. The problem with doing something this often is, unfortunately, that you end up forgetting you're doing it. So with a slight embarassment, I realised I should have reminded people earlier on that they can spend Willpower points to add 3 dice to their rolls. Instead, I only did that after it was clear who the dice smiled upon that day.

The players managed to catch the intruder who turned out to be a woman. Latter interrogation revealed she is also a shapeshifter and was snooping at the 'murder' scene as a deer. We had a glimpse at VT's warform which was appropriately creepy. A large falcon with human hands for talons and, unless I'm misremembering, a human/falcon hybrid face.

During their interrogation they learned that the woman was named Fawn and she followed a trail from Fairbanks to hear when she was looking for whatever/whoever was responsible for kidnapping people off the street. She wasn't very talkative at first but after being unable to break Peyton's webbing and receiving a punch from Devlin, she warmed up a bit.

In the end, Fawn went to stay with Peyton, her Striking Looks Merit working like a charm, while Devlin noticed he was invited to dinner by the head of the local hunter's club.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Second Level Sucess

Broadly speaking we have moved from the general category of being slayed with one hit to being slayed by two or three hits. Now some of the party will say speak for yourself as the Paladin I am playing did, with the favour of his god, max roll his hit allocation for the last level increment.
Its still a bit of a rock, paper, scissors, divine intervention game at present but if we get our hits in first then there is a slightly good chance now that we will be dancing in the bar by tea time. At the end of the last thrilling instalment of the DnD we were faced with taking down a large beaked creature with long hooks for arms- a Hooked Horror if my goggling skills are on form. Shame its such an aggressive creature as I suspect it occupies an ideal evolutionary niche for opening cans of beer. Never mind.
First and foremost it was the Paladin and the Cleric who threw themselves into the fray. The Horror did not gracefully yield to the Paladin despite being given the opportunity to do so, so in turn received  the first use of the Thunderous Smite. Both dramatic and effective the blow hit with thunderous roar, both knocking the creature back and shocking our fighting pit audience into a brief deafness. The Cleric followed up and whilst taking some damage from a counter we were at least alive for the second round. My second spell slot was reserved for a Searing Smite and whilst it failed to ignite the fiend it was enough to bring it, together with the damage from the Cleric, to within a whisker of its life. [It was after the game when I was looking at the other paladin speciality that I had picked up, Divine Smite, which I think would have made the other smite spells redundant as it deals more damage but burns any spell slots you have for the day. The idea being that you can learn a couple of utility spells but if combat demands it, burn them for a Divine Smite.]
Anyway, enter stage right the party thief who, after nimbly staying out of any trouble stole the initiative and snuck around to the back of the creature and stabbed it for the killing blow. Honestly the bloody cheek of it. Anyway it turned out that the people inhabiting this area are a sort of neutral band of middle men who I get the sense are living off a lot of the cream of the Neverwinter chaos at the moment.  Not actually evil they are not to be trusted but have pointed us to a very old Elf that has shone some light on the ancient teleportation system which will allow us to finally get ahead of one of the cobold packs preying on innocent traders and villagers.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

A Split Party

Allow me to pre-face this entry by saying that no (were-)bear has been shot or otherwise harmed during our last session and that we do not condone violence towards animals. Especially ones that can turn into hulking monstrosities and rip your face off.

This time I came in with two scenes in mind that I could use, neither of which saw any use other than a hint here and there. It's entirely my fault as I tend to be a reactive GM and already having established an issue within the setting, I wanted to give the players a chance to react to it in their own ways. I was waiting for a hook I could use to start off either of the scenes I came in with. Even though none appeared, everyone had fun so I can't say our time went to waste.

We went on to the day after everyone has given a statement on what happened in the woods. I began the session asking people what they would be doing the very next day.

VT decided to look at the scene again from the skies. She clearly likes her falcon form. She decided to track where Windy (official nickname) went by looking at snow patterns. Since her falcon form gives her Keen Sight and a Perception bonus I allowed it and she found out the trail of fresh snow leading from the scene of gruesome murder up to where the hunters' group was gathering. There was also a doe having a look at the aforementioned scene. Then it went off to graze on leaves and twigs. Perfectly normal behaviour!

Devlin had a look through his mother's notebooks in hopes of finding something that could cause blizzards out of nowhere. Going through books sounds boring but we had a nice glimpse into Devlin's backstory. I do love it when players take time to flesh out their characters. We've learned that Devlin's mum is in prison. She's innocent but took the blame for his father's murder when he was beating her and young Devlin snapped, turned into a bear and frenzied in the living room. I loved the story enough that I rewarded him by saying he found mentions of one Wayne Webster who was good friends with his mum and a source of most of her information on local tradition.

At that point Devlin wanted to go and speak with him but I ruled by that time it would be too late for a polite visit. This was mainly because I didn't want to have the whole evening spent on single-player scenes. I try to avoid the lack of player-to-player interaction during a game.

Next up was Peyton who, while working at a hospital in Fairbanks, went to the local coroner to see if he could provide them with the autopsy reports of the body they found. Whenever I see coroners on screen, they always seem unfazed by dead bodies. I take it, it comes with the territory but then I thought that this was probably a horrific event in this guy's life, I'd make him be uncomfortable talking about it... and just when I was about to give out some information, I realised there's actually a Social system of Opening Doors that I should be using rather than making things easy and simple. Things were said and done, and Peyton had a very good approach at convincing the coroner to do him a favour.

At the end of the evening, both in-game and out-of-game, the characters met in a pub. VT was already chatting people up about a new extreme sport she thought of that incorporated logs, lakes and hills. Devlin didn't get into a fight, amazingly enough. Some girl tried to flirt with Peyton because she thought they were a boy. I'm so glad I could come up with some randomness. Especially considering social interactions are certainly not my forte.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Teleportation insurance

Ritual circles, triangles, pentagrams, menhirs, and glowing flagstones are all things that should really have those 'slippery surface' warning signs. It always a little disconcerting trying to work out whether you are dead or not after being teleported.

Having wandered around a gigantic cemetery for a while we followed some humanoid claw like tracks to a large mausoleum and a sarcophagus within. It was fairly evident that  this was all a bit of a neat and tidy arrangement particularly for an old burial chamber, so much so that one could hear the time honoured Admiral Akbar screaming "Its a twap" in your ear. The funny thing about this is not that we didn't see a trap coming, it's that we hadn't realised that the trap was disabled by 4 magic gems to be found in the murals about the coffin. Not a problem...except that there is a thief in the party. It was a deliberation though but eventually the thief did see the down side of dying a rich man but of course went back for the gems afterwards.
Spiralling down and around brought us finally to the afore mentioned teleport and off we go.
Unfortunately, to continue the Star Wars theme, as it is nearly Christmas, we seem to be in a fighting pit Jabba style, surrounded by a very excited crowd of cobolds, hot dogs and popcorn in hand with something growling on the other side of some very big doors.

So the extent to which we teleported without dying is still a debateable point but what advice to give before stepping on a portal ? Pack swimming trunks and heavy weapons.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Gutting Fishermen

Our DnD adventure is taking us down the coast at present, by land I might add, as what with mysterious fog banks and a wandering ghost pirate ship we are quite happily sticking to terra firma. Our current mission was to talk to a druid local to one of the fishing villages to try and get some information on some of the background happenings around Neverwinter but worryingly we passed at least one village that had been raided from the sea and its inhabitants either killed or presumably captured. I suppose missing at sea would be the correct description for them now.

I would guess that ordinarily Pirates carry out raids for various logistic reasons, water, food and also for slaves or possibly new crew members as well as for the usual collection of loots. However, what a Ghost Pirate ship raids for is less clear to me. Potentially they could be collecting more crew albeit of an undead variety but I wouldn't have thought they would have a large turnover of staff...unless bits drop off during the working day. A rigger with no legs is not going to do well in his next performance evaluation.

Either way I suspect that they are either cursed and or operating under the will of a more malevolent force.

I think I am working out why it is called the Sword Coast.

Moving inland we had a meeting with the curators of a vast, rolling cemetery and once again they hve said that the passing traffic seems to be much busier these days for no particular or obvious reason. Connecting the dots, it would be  reasonable to suppose that someone is stealing bodies though we have yet to catch them in the act. I think the next question would be to ask for an audit but this is often met with an extremely grim demeanour in any profession let alone from the curators of a cemetery as large as East Sussex.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Without a Trace

When you’re forced to leave the game early due to circumstances beyond your control, there’s always a chance you’ll have to bring a new character for next session. Fortunately, our werebear player decided to make his character into a proper Engine of War and his trait, Warrior’s Restoration, allowed Devlin to heal up the hole in his side in an hour.

As impressive as that may sound, it’s even more impressive that Devlin managed not to punch the hunter who shot at him. In his defence, he thought he was shooting at a polar bear. While VT flew off to get her gun, Devlin and Peyton met with some hunters and had a chat. Most of them wanted to finish it quickly solely because Devlin has a reputation of punching people for no reason… even if they have guns.

During their chat, Peyton noticed that the hunters were wearing similar clothes as that severed armed that nearly hit him during the blizzard. Oddly enough, the players decided to try and track down the beast, now nicknamed Windy by VT. Sadly they lost the track. The wind and snow destroyed what little signs they could follow. The only thing they were sure of is that Windy headed for the town… and that it disappeared in mysterious circumstances.

I’m extremely glad Bill noticed that although VT was perched on a building overlooking where Windy would have emerged, she saw naught. Normally, you could hand-wave that as a simple plot hole but I do have a reason as to why Windy vanished. A reason which I shall keep to myself… such is the beauty of Game Mastering.

With so little to go on, our heroic shapeshifters went back to find the severed arm and piece together the identity of the victim. His name was Jonathan and none of the characters knew of him having any ties with the local hunters. Being the good citizens they are, they informed the local authorities who, quite sceptically, sent a state trooper with them to check it out.

The disbelief vanished quite quickly and was replaced by a visage of horror!

The site was secured, CSI was called in and statements were taken.
No other player got shot at.
For now…

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Levelling up

I am pleased to report that the DnD party are now second level. As close a shave as we had to death last week, it seams that an inch is as good as a mile for us and we gained enough experience to claw up some desperately needed hit points ready for the next close shave. Even closer if you believe the adverts.

Here is a friendly Youtube video of the process:

The 5e process was incredibly quick and straight forward and entailed writing a 2 instead of a 1 in the level box, rolling a single dice (or accepting an average) and copying across the proficiencies for your character from the Players Handbook. I picked up my first spell slot and now have something else to wave in front of people's faces other than an axe.

As painless a process as it seemed I did cast my eye down the level charts, optimistically I admit, to the higher echelons and although one picks up one or two additional proficiencies as you go up each time, it will end up being quite a lot eventually. I suppose though, that if a player personally takes a character through the level ups, it would imply one had a good grasp of capabilities at each stage. Still, I wouldn't envy a beginner jumping in at a higher level but I suppose this is true of most RPGs.

As for the party itself, well, we have managed to restore a lighthouse to full operation and dutifully receiving the reward for doing so. And we have located some missing persons, albeit slightly less alive in some cases. It is slowly transpiring though that many of the optional sub plots we have come across are seemingly interlinked with cultist of the Green Dragon. This will require further investigation but at least for now the fog is literally lifting over Neverwinter as we have restored some navigation to its blockaded port.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Someone Heard You Scream

As a GM, I never know how to start a game.
A typical fantasy game starts in a tavern, I'm told, when an old wizard judges your motley of low-level adventurers worthy a task so grave that it can only be given to a random bunch of strangers... but what do you do when there's a significant lack of wizards and taverns in a given setting?

How am I supposed to know?
I just asked the players what their characters are doing in the woods on the outskirts of town... yes, yes, yes, that's a cool story. Oh, by the way, you hear a scream of terror followed by gunshots from within the woods!

That's as good a hook as any... and so, the local werebeasts found themselves checking out the scream. Coincidence or Fate? We may never know.

They went on in the direction of where the scream originated. Stopping only when encountering a blizzard! Expecting something supernatural going on, VT turned into a falcon and went on ahead to scout. Especially after one of them got nearly hit by a severed arm of some poor chap. I was expecting the players would stop and think things through. Maybe try and gather some more information but after VT returned to say she found an enormous beast with control over the winds, which might be responsible for dismembering a human being in no time... they decided to go and try to kill it.

It might seem like a bad plan but they do have a gigantic were-polar-bear. All things considered, they might have been successful... if not for VT getting swept away, the blizzard mysteriously disappearing and someone shooting at the enormous bear next to a poor, defenseless student.

There were so many rolls between players to keep Devlin from going on a rampage.
I was expecting someone to fail.

At the end of the session, Devlin regained his composure, turned back to human form and started putting his clothes on while someone was approaching the group.

The Peril of 1st level

Here is a quick before an after picture, I could ask you to spot the difference but being smug at a funeral is generally considered inappropriate. I exaggerate only slightly as despite the fact that our Scout did a fantastic job of creeping up on a skeleton, he did immediately throw away his sword as a rather botched attempt at a stealth attach. Fate decided not to be speared in the back on this particular occasion. Taken below a zero level of hit points, our brave player, Nick, attempted to roll his three attempts at staying alive and, sadly, failed two of them putting his character into immediate probate - a situation every thief, I mean scout, would wish to avoid for professional as well as personal reasons.
It was fortunate, in all senses of the word, that apparently as a Halfling he did in fact get another stab at life as the 'lucky' rule came into play for his race for which a tense but successful roll was made and  by the skin of his teeth  has now a story to tell.
As it happens, he wasn't the only one. Attacked by skeleton archers, reanimated corpses and slippery ghouls the Paladin, Ranger and Cleric were also treated to a near death experience and it was briefly the Mage vs everything before reinforcements arrived. Not for us as such but after the loot, still, beggars cant be choosers.
It was all a very close shave but there were the obvious things we could have done differently. It all goes to remind me really that even when starting new players or even those new to roleplay in general, 1st level characters are actually a big challenge - not only is there the inherent lack of experience and hitpoints as characters but more often or not it is the first time a player may come across the do's and dont's of basic survival - a rule of thumb will serve you well provided it isn't cut off.
So endeth the first session of this part of the DnD, bruised, battered and barely breathing but hopefully a little wiser.
We'll see....

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Self Preservation

Just to round off the Star Wars last week, I can report on the successful repatriation of ambassador Bol to the Rebel Alliance. I knew you would all be relieved. Discovered quite safe in his Carbonite casing he was released in time for the end of the one off adventure.

Next week should see the start of DnD, Changing Breeds and Feng Shui.

Carbonite casing was originally designed for gas transportation as the material can absorb vast amounts of volatile atmospheric substances whilst locking them in an unreactive and stable form. The chambers themselves can also stack efficiently and operate in built repulsors for mobility.

It also happens to be an ideal form of transport for captives as the molecular integration process has a stasis effect on organic material. Painful though.

However, do not confuse Carbonite with Samsonite, another transportation and packaging material that is also used for moving bodies around.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

It begins

'Any ideas as for characters you'd like to play?' I asked.
'An adrenaline junkie werefalcon.'
'I think I'll play a polar bear lumberjack.'
'Together, they fight crime.' Bill remarked.

Actually, that's a very good description of the scenario I have in mind... mostly because murder is generally considered an illegal act.

It's been a while since I've last run a game. I used to do it fairly often but even so, I was dreading sitting in the GM chair again.

I started off with two players, had elevator-pitch for the game and felt like my handling of the system was sketchy at best... but as we sat down and bantered, I felt happy to be were I started.

Last week we did character creation.
We didn't do as much as I had hoped and I'm at fault here. I intended half of the 2 hours we had to be spent making characters and the other hour on fitting them into the setting but I was worried that putting dots on the sheet would go fast that I feared all would be done in half that time... it didn't.

No plan ever survives contact with players, mark my words!

Fortunately, the sheets require minimal input from the players and I started working on some additional player characters for drop-ins.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Head in the Clouds

As the games are turning over like a huge discworld sized pancake, I have taken the opportunity to run a stopgap 2 episode Star Wars until the DnD is ready to rumble. The original West End games D6 edition no less. Despite the D20 system prevalence I like the older system due to its rather vague approach to rules - its enough to get things done but allows a high degree of flexibility by the GM and the extremely simple difficulty tables are applied to most tasks - combat is simply an attack roll vs strength roll.
For now the party are trying to rescue an Ambassador Bol, a wanted Jedi, who went MIA during the last Star Wars adventure. He was pivotal in establishing the first few clans into an alliance against the Imperium.

At this moment in time, although it was a long, long time ago, our adventurers are on the trail of a broken light sabre that was found to have been gambled away in a casino on Cloud City -a Calrissian mining facility suspended within the Bespin atmosphere. Having abruptly cornered the gambler concerned it turns out that he claimed the item from the now defunct Tibann orbital - an old and ultimately unsuccessful competitor to Cloud City that has fallen derelict - uninhabited for now except for scavengers and scrap hunters and anyone else not looking to be found...Part 2 on Thursday...

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Selecting the new Lanterns

It is time.
The old worlds are dying and new ones are waiting to be born.

New games are being prepared as I write. Plans are afoot and the GM selection process is taking place for the forthcoming games.

GM Krzys will be offering a Changing Breeds, which as I understand it is a World of Darkness game involving a genetic melting pot - chimeras crossed with other chimeras set in the frozen realm of Alaska.

GM Warren will be offering to continue the Dungeons and Dragons adventure as the mystery surrounding Neverwinter Seige deepens.

GM Jack will be offering one of the following: A 13th Age continuation of the previous adventure set in the Mage town of Eldolan. A game of Strike, a D6 based SciFi scenario. Or finally a game of Feng Shui 2, a hidden history of the Chi War replete with sorcerers, monks and cyborgs. Really depends on how weird people want to get..

If you are thinking of coming along or coming back, now is an excellent time to grab a character and make it your own.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Assassins Wanted.

One of the issues I have raised before regarding the Eclipse Phase game is one of mortality, or lack thereof. It's one of the many underpinning aspects of the universe that requires a serious shift in a player's mentality. It's a tricky one though as I am unclear as yet what the difference is exactly between transferring a consciousness and copying one. I would have though that a being would cling onto life under any circumstances even if backups are available, as backups, and forks for that matter, are just copies and separate personalities. Other than vanity from a human perspective, why would I even bother to create a copy or backup of myself at all ? Death comes to me in all its form unless it is actually my consciousness itself that is transferred at the moment of death. This cannot be the case of course if my brain is slowly altered through drugs, medical procedures or torture ie I can go through a radical personality alteration before expiring.

The point about this is that we were mustering a plan to assassinate someone in the last game but the conversation slowed dramatically as we began to realise that the individual will have copies. In that case we don't actually care about his personal view on immortality, we just have to take him out. But are we satisfied with just removing his current persona ? Well, we located his business address and have plans to destroy his server racks where at least one backup resides but we have no idea at this stage if he has further backups and if indeed they lie within a major,  maximum security corporation that provides such services on the basis that they can never be compromised. Mission Impossible comes to mind, so we have been discussing methods of possibly infecting his backups in order to destroy them aside from physical intervention. As always, I am sure that the meticulous planning phase of our mission will bear no resemblance at all to reality.
As much as I raise an eyebrow over what could be a flaw in this game, I am reminded of course that it is also an issue in many other more classic scenarios. I recall having to hunt down the individual embalmed organs of Liches in order to ensure that they can be killed, and Vampires, particularly the high level ones, do have a tendency to repeat offend, this is perhaps nothing new in the problem we are facing .
We need the cyber equivalent of a wooden stake.