Wednesday, 27 August 2014

All Change.

Well, last weeks Ice and Fire saw slightly less people die from stab in the back syndrome and we left our characters in the after tournament ball, waltzing and plotting away for their next instalment whenever that will turn out to be. GM Bill brought the proceedings to a graceful end on this chapter of House Bequis and we managed to sell the remainder of our horses too! I think we were supposed to add another duck to our homestead base or perhaps another dry stone wall by way of experience. I had thought, when I started playing the Ice and Fire, that it would be an overly administrative affair and full of arguments given the plotty nature of the series and not much action, but it was quite the opposite. All testament to a good GM of course but its been an excellent mix of action on the ground and drama behind the scenes. And I shall miss it for now but it will be back no doubt.

In all the recent talk of the new D&D5E, Player Handbooks are starting to teleport into the hands of club members and people are understandably excited. GM Warren will take up the magic helm and will begin preparation for a 5E this week for a kick off next week. Here is a snippet in his very own words:
"The game will be set in the Forgotten Realms (for those that are familiar with it) and the area will be the Sword Coast (again for those familiar with the area).

The rules itself encourage background and I will at least want some sort of personal goal for each character which i would like to fit into whatever I run. Obviously details we can discuss

GM Jack will also start a 13th Age following his taster game a few weeks ago which I really quite enjoyed actually, so there is something for the those who wish to experience something outside the D&D juggernaut. Really not sure which I will prefer.. choices.. choices. From GM Jack:

"For people who don't know the system, One unique things are one thing about your character that is unique, nobody else in the world has that. Uniques can be used to establish setting details or plot points/leads. Backgrounds are the skill system of this game, every character has 8 background points (without feats) that can be put into any background (max of 5pts). Backgrounds are important as when chars make skill/background rolls the roll is 1d20 + level + applicable attribute (Str, Dex etc) + relevant background. Backgrounds can be anything there is not a list of them like there is of skills, they also do not have to match to the classes either, a wizard could have a background of Cat-Thief (Thief known only as...) or Gladiator (Champ of Axis tournements) just as much as a Rogue or Fighter can. 
Incremental advances are basically letting you get parts of your next level early, can be a feat, hit points, the ability to use another magic item, another power or spell, skills (+1 to all skill checks).
Icon relationships; At lv 1 all characters have 3 icon relationship points, the number of points you spend on a relationship is a measure of its overall usefullness since the relationship mechanic lets you roll 1d6 per point invested in a relationship when you are trying to leverage your connection to the icon, 5s and 6s on the rolls net you things. A relationship can be positive, conflicted and hostile. 
Icons; The 13 great legendary figures of the world, the movers and shakers, they are all/ have powerful factions and often enlist various adventurers for various tasks and quests."

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Dungeons and Flagons.

Advertising break this week.

I can heartily recommend The Brighton Beer Dispensary at  38 Dean Street Brighton where I enjoyed a particularly magnificent Pulled Pork Bap for the princely sum of only six pounds. This may seem a somewhat disconnected story for a role playing blog but in the long tradition of plot bending ... here it comes ... on Tuesdays they have a 'Dungeons and Flagons' evening, which I actually think is just board games, although if any locals reading this are at a loose end on a Tuesday then perhaps they can report back.

Apparently they are artisans of real ale and ciders; I can avidly testify to both from an amateur palette. I expect some further feedback on this also, although I appreciate this may be of a more elusive nature.
Oh, and certainly worth mentioning that today is the formal release of WotC's 5E Dungeons and Dragons player's handbook. My God, has it really been 40 years....and they still haven't got the rules right. I hear there's a Warlock now.
For posterity, here is the future from 2012 by the WotC management and D&D designers:
 The Future of D&D
Ask The Dungeon Master  

Monday, 11 August 2014

Dice Shaming.

In the last Ice and Fire we tried, in vein, to make it through the House last man standing event - we would have had a chance except Horse/Lance charges were allowed. Whilst this is in fact an inevitably mutually assured destruction strategy our section opponents decided to opt for it forcing us to do the same.

Now the amusing thing about this is that we had to hire some NPCs to help make up the numbers and after the initial charge into each other it was only the NPCs that remained sat smugly on their horses. To be fair we did manage to insult our opposing team and long standing House adversaries, which was our main aim, but it does bring up the issue of how we all deal with epic dice failure. Too often I feel its just passed off to fate or shrugged off as destiny; players too often resign themselves to a despondent 'It was meant to be'.

Well it appears that there is another way. Why should we have to take such appalling performance from little pieces of plastic ? Why should we sit there and have our egos betrayed by the tools we so lovingly care for, sometimes for decades. No. We should take a stand; don't get down, get angry and get even. Out the treachery for what it is and shame the little bastards for all to see - record it for posterity and remind them whenever you can of their failure!


Monday, 4 August 2014

Sending dead bodies through the post.

Last week we had a break from the Runequest as it was GM Rob's anniversary - well done sir; 4 years and they're still talking to each other as far as I know. This gave me a chance to dive back into GM Bill's Game of Thrones and as it happens, pick up my old character.
Seemed like the usual backstabbery is very much alive, if you will excuse the oxymoron, and it seems that someone is doing a tidying up job on the party. One of our witnesses in our recent trial was found drowned giving us another murder mystery as we don't feel he was a keen swimmer.
First things first, as we did sort of know the chap, our dear leader had to write a sober and conciliatory letter to his Next of Kin. This was of course dispatched with the body itself which led us to the particularly important issue of how best to transport dead bodies given the medieval technology of the time.
I recall plenty of situations when we had to get rid of dead bodies of course - easier when magicks are involved provided you don't forget about the one you had in your bag of holding - no one is short of creativity here, but when it comes to transporting them then that's a whole other barrel of worms.
We opted eventually to have it couriered back by horse aka Peasant Force but given the few days in transit there would probably be issues at the receiving end. What if the customer wasn't there to take delivery ? Well one would presume that it would be held at the local distribution warehouse for 30 days and then returned to us if no one claimed it. Not really a situation we wanted to find ourselves in really so we ticked the option to leave it with a neighbour if there was no reply at the delivery address. Basically out of sight, out of mind. The details of all this have left me wondering though and its a loose end, and loose ends are not a good on a party's equipment list in Ice and Fire - we don't want additional problems of people coming back from the grave in any sense least of all in an administrative one. As always we shall see.
On a brighter note however we did come third in the InterHouse Horse race after an exceptional performance by our Ranger - I think we would have done even better if we hadn't spent a few weeks selling our competitors our own finest stock Dorninsh horses. Oh well.