Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Training Day


Generally speaking, role playing clubs tend to be full of players but short of GMs and its often the case that club organizers say that if you are a GM, to let them know straight away. The Craft Beer Co players hold quarterly meetings to single out people interested in running on the back of their meetup infrastructure and somewhere like the Dice Saloon will have open days. In our case, we do quite well - whilst our demographic is made principally of players we do seem to carry a lot of GM experience as a group but it can still be an issue wrestling with real life what with family, jobs, holidays, courses, shift work, diseases, crimes and abductions. In our occasional foray into board games of an evening there are enough hoarders in our group to pull something weird and wonderful out of a bag and ultimately there is the time honored tradition of just ignoring everything and continuing to drink.

Having said all this it occurred to me recently that in order to get my head around the DnD5e that has been sitting on my shelves for some time, I could either continue to subject myself to youtube videos or lever the brains of my fellow fellows and ask for their help and of course got enormous support from both Bill and Warren who have run 5e since the pre release and also Jo stepped in as a hapless Elf in search of Risotto, though whether this was the trauma from a long lost family member or perhaps he was just hungry, I never found out, but the session was enormously beneficial in the academic sense and I was able to stop and ask questions and run and re-run my sequence of play.


Run specifically as a technical session I managed to find a site where you can just download random characters - digitaldungeonmaster.com - and give them a go. Perhaps a mistake to start at 1st level as its quite easy to kill someone by accident but immediately one can practice various checks, round progression, NPCs and combat outcomes. Ultimately its more an instinct one is after rather then base knowledge but you have to start somewhere and for myself I think I need one more session to lever the advantage/disadvantage rules and perhaps try some higher level players to test the full action/ bonus /reaction options with a few magic items thrown in.

Anyways, the point of all of this is to remind myself and everyone else that GM training which is both rewarding and fun is completely available with support from experienced players for those who might be interested in running a game for the first time. In fact I might even Photoshop a certificate of non-incompetence (tho google is suggesting incontinence) so we can have a proper graduate ceremony.




Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Good character

Last week on Brighton Roleplayers.. 

GM Mikes makeshift DnD continues in style. The party have decided that we don't particularly like anyone in the mountain village we have stopped at after a genuine attempt at socializing with some of the key residents - we did try and talk to an old Ranger who, typically, likes to keep himself to himself but was helpful to a degree - we sort of had to get our foot in his door like a group of  Mormons or whatever the equivalent God and magic plates are in the DnD world. We got a cup of tea out of him and he warmed to us eventually I guess but the basic advice we got from him was 'Don't go out in dangerous weather'. Immediately I became aware of how he had manage to get so many wise years under his belt - a sort of chav Yoda.

Moving down the road we inquired after a rather disheveled and crippled priest in an even more disheveled and crippled church. Always be wary of giving such people any attention and be even more aware of giving them your gold. I would say he was harmless enough but I have been on the wrong side of wiry and drunk priests before now and whilst they may be somewhat ineffective in their mad ramblings, the Gods they call upon can be a rather more serious concern - a footnote to this is that our rather hapless kleptomaniac has noticed some rather easy looking loot in the shape of a church artifact and holy symbols. Still, potentially one less mouth to feed.


Crossing a few more roads brought us to the local trading post where we reanimated  the drunk proprietor who was clearly in the process of examining the fine detail of his desk close up and after pointing in random directions when he awoke, we managed to source some of the equipment we needed. Curiously our Samurai swapped his shiny sword for a rusty old crossbow for some reason and while there may be some sort of philosophy in his madness, it looks like we will be heading into a location where swinging room may be extremely limited, so perhaps not so unwise.

Finally, as the bigger picture grew we have finally made some sort of agreement to be scouted out of the beleaguered  mining village via the mine system itself - apparently there is a route through that keeps us out of the rather unnatural and increasingly deadly storms. This is the classic time where anxiety gives way to paranoia - we have a way out now but being led underground by a profiteer we have only just met does not sound like a sound strategy and it could be that our graves have been dug for us well in advance. Perhaps we are not the only ones who have been down this path before.


I did not get a chance to inquire after the Exalted game as the Rain was torrential outside where we have a bit of a debrief afterclub but I have high hopes that the game is underway.

As the Phoenix Dawn will not be running tomorrow, I may just take the opportunity to try my hand at a bit of DnD GMing -  I did fork out for the PHB and DMG and even a shiny combat screen so if I can find victims, randomness shall be inflicted upon them.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

The lost balls of Stog


No, its not a quest for ancient and mystical scrying orbs nor is it a search for the ancestral heirlooms of a fallen house. We actually have a castrated Ogre in the party called Stog. As delightful as I find this character, I am even more impressed with the game itself. As interest thrives and our numbers are up at the moment,  the last dust is settling on our medieval difference engine used to form cryptic decisions that guide our future. GM Mike saved the evening and offered to run a home brew basic DnD like adventure completely off the top of his head - more specifically it was role play in its purest and undiluted form and actually a rare opportunity to physically enjoy the experience of a pencil and blank piece of paper as the only necessary tools of the trade. We spend so much time exchanging ideas, examining new systems, pawing over version iterations and reviewing technology it was a genuinely rare and authentic feeling to simply sharpen a pencil and take it to a blank sheet. It was also novel to interact with the GM who had absolutely nothing in front of him except a pint of beer as a GM screen. 


Mike has a teaching background which almost automatically conveys a transparent confidence in any given scenario and an adaptive manner well suited to playing a number of NPC interactions. The time passed very quickly and whilst it seemed like we only got as far as climbing a mountain trail to a mining village we skirted some goblins, wound up an innkeeper, picked some pockets and stared down some Dwarves. The proverbial bar fight would have happened except we couldn't afford to get kicked out into the street as the weather conditions outside were unnaturally harsh to the point of  causing a flash snowdrift - I sense evil magic afoot.

In other games I did spot another Exalted player bravely attempting to create a character but I dont think it ended well, poor Jo, but as I understand it, those who have successfully competed the Roll New Character trials will now embark on their quest.


GM Kryzs  continues his Phoenix Dawn adventure and whilst he dutifully told me precisely what happened, I did forget most of it bar the fact that one of the players died, which for a Phoenix is perhaps not such an issue as rising from ones own flames, you return stronger - the caveat being that there are only a certain number of regenerations available. Interesting approach and a good way of curbing the proliferation of Timelord liked player characters. Not sure what physically happens when the last death of a phoenix occurs - rather than a new egg, perhaps you just get an omelette...