Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Outer Limits



So more Thursday welcomes to Alex and George who dropped in last week to find out about this Roleplaying thing. We were a bit backed up what with the a Railway meeting downstairs running over time and in fact as our numbers are now in the region of twenty players we have suddenly hit the inner limit of people we can seat at the club. I sort of had the capacity issue at the back of my mind but it unequivocally landed last week. I have been carrying an emergency  D&D Planescape around with me so with a couple of volunteers from the other games we have started a 4th adventure with the new guys and we'll see if we can scare them off.


It's somewhat deceptive as there is a huge amount of space downstairs in the club but we also share the venue with the local darts team as well as the table sports community; pool, snooker and the like. There is a large area for drinking and this would be ideal for us except we have to be sociable and share the space for people who just want to have a pint and listen to some music. Fair enough. Se we have just hit a hurdle and in fact necessarily have to tell people now that we are full !


Or possibly not, we do have some other options and we are not the only pub based role playing venue and the Craft Beer Co. club just sends overflow down to the Windmill and Hamilton bars. Though pub density is not as great on the seven dials, there are possibly options at the Good Companions, The French Horn or even the Crescent. Alternatively we can stretch our outer limits and I am happy to take the fourth game players home for now but it wont be a long term solution if we then hit a 5th game requirement.

There is also the final possibility of expanding the club across a couple of evenings at the same venue which is an idea I am warming to and whilst it would be nice to have everyone in the same place at the same time, its likely not sustainable I think. Its all logistics but as yet I haven't inspected the roof...


Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Adopting Rat Catchers



Creating new characters for a role playing game is a bit like a shopping trip. You start off coming back from town with bags of random new stuff all excited. Then sort through what you have bought and find out that some of the things don't quite match the pictures on the boxes and finally your realise its too late to take anything back as personalities don't come with thirty day money back guarantees.

So its more sort of an adoption process really and when you make a commitment to a one legged, ego maniacal, kleptomaniac from a large family of albinos then you sort have have to see it through. Remember that adopting people is not just for Christmas, its for life. Having said this, life can also be mercifully or unmercifully short so perhaps don't get too close to someone destined for a Darwin award. A nod here to GM Max's game as apparently Cameron's character ended up in the stocks last week, which was a brief sojourn to being repetitively stabbed to death. Is that ironic ? I can't tell anymore.


Either way, I have found it useful on many occasions to turn to TV for inspiration and for some reason I seem to have based my Part-Time Gods character on Vasily Fet (no relation to Boba), the rat catcher from the Guielle De Toro series, The Strain. I suppose I appreciate the simplicity of his stalwart Bronks attitude but also with a passion and unswerving dedication for what he does. Being both physically fit and single minded makes him a capable doer and will motivate action in any situation without necessarily adopting the Kamikaze Paladin approach. As always we will see I guess but to be on the safe side I have some other series lined up.


At this point I would usually meander off into the lengthy history and deep lore of the wider catcher profession but with respect to the Pied Piper the only other catcher I can recall is the one from from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang movie. Is there a D&D Truly Scrumptious expansion or Toot Sweet Kick starter ? Well F*** off if there is.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Time is not enough


Although the Exalted has begun, there is still some work to do on the character sheets, partly as its somewhat like quantum theory but mostly because I am extremely lazy. Thankfully one of our number has returned after a year's worth of insane commuting and can now look forward to a normal life of  fantasy gaming. As he is joining the Exalted and will also have to create a character it does buy me another week under the radar to hide my ineptitude and finish off background narrative and various skills. Whilst I see players tearing at their faces where complex character generation is concerned, reward does come with effort and once completed, it shouldn't have to be repeated.


In the intervening time, I have been perusing more of the DnD lore. I think actually there is now more content than can be absorbed in a single lifetime so I quite like to leave youtube autoplaying from one world to another - its a pleasantly relaxing and meandering journey into the great pool of content and throws up the occasional item of note.

However, one particular piece of the DnD multiverse pretty much knocked me off my seat. I think I suddenly have a new respect for the system and things will never be quite the same again. I know I am a bit late to the game so to speak coming from a Merp and Rolemaster heritage and I am sure this comes as common knowledge to the avid DnD fan but I had no idea. DnD is a fundamentally hopeless struggle. Everyone will always die and all the civilisations and races will always be doomed to sadistic destruction. There is no future in DnD and it wont matter how many times the universe gets reborn. Its people and the beauty of their realms will inevitably be horrifically consumed no matter how hard the struggle.


This is the story of the Ilithids, commonly known as the Mindflayers. They are essentially the Borg of the fantasy world, a psychically linked species that literally feed on the brains of intelligent beings and bent on complete domination of all life. In this they become completely successful and subjugate all races. But of course this is not enough for true conquest. In order to ensure that they survive the end of the universe itself, they created "The Great Cycle", a portal back to the beginning of time where they seed themselves. This ensures an eternal time lock, so no matter how many times the multiverse restarts and whether they are hunted to the edge of extinction or not in any particular version, they will always win because they can only exist as a result of their future apotheosis.

Their ecology is lovingly fleshed out in gory detail in one of  A.J Pickets excellent videos.