Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Now thats an RPG

In keeping with the fact that some of us are less nimble than we used to be I can duly report that our  Supertanker full of ideas is slowly lumbering about and facing on a new bearing. For one, GM Jack has begun his Exalted character creations, which is a system I know nothing about and I will enjoy getting some feedback and I may possibly drop in for a session. What is more amusing is that I did sense people wincing at their own memories of the Exalted system along the lines of it being quite a heavy or perhaps overly comprehensive system. Whilst this is something that version iterations tend to action quite quickly, I am not actually averse to large systems - I was brought up on Rolemaster and between Arms Law, Spell Law, Rolemaster Companions I, II, III, IV, V, VI Creatures and Treasures as a basic system, I just scoffed of course. And then I saw the book... pictured is Andras's copy and boy did I laugh with delight as I felt that finally RMC had found its match, 

And then I saw Jacks deluxe edition...

Well all I can say is that when we were turfing out for the night I did see at least 3 of the Exalted players with their heads in their hands, though of course deep in study rather than despair, but as GMs can often bring along pre-gens to a public meet I do occasionally miss the generation process as it gets you much closer to your character.

As we wait for GM Rob to extend his Eclipse Phase into an ongoing concern for this round of games GM Krzys stepped in for a session with his Phoenix Dawn Command, which I sat in on. I think he may have cracked a common logistical issue with our club as when a GM cant make it for some reason its good to have a game handy and in this case PDC is a quick pick  narrative role-playing game. Whilst I stepped in with a Chill recently along side the D&D, player volatility does impact a support game very significantly though of course I knew that going in and it was a blast. But in future I will look for something card based in the vein of PDC. As for the game itself, my head is still spinning somewhat - you play a Phoenix and starting from a central Eerie you are sent out in to stand against the evils that the world presents. For our part we were facing off against some sort of dark knight dispatched from forces that had breached an eerie stronghold - really unique and really weird. I need to reserve more comment until I understand it a bit more thoroughly but by Jupiter, we do get to see a lot of systems and the Railway Club its definitely the place to go to try a deck of many things.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Case Closed, Game Closed

SAVE Archive Return 13.02.1996

Entity: Projected Manifestation, sub category Phantom

Behaviors: The phantom is an extremely dangerous entity. It is a projection of a living being controlled by the Unknown but has the ability to replicate instances of itself. Whilst each manifestation splits the constitution of the original, its potential to generate exponential copies of itself underly its potency and Envoy's should have detailed plans as well as suitable resources before engaging such a creature. This should be classed and treated as a swarming entity with the ability to overwhelm even a moderately sized party. In addition the phantom will have a medium through which it transits between locations, such as wood, water, stone, fire or glass etc.

Cautions: The phantom can in theory be fought with a sizeable party composition but as it is a projection through an existing human thrall, it can also be distracted or disrupted through its memories - often familiar possessions can distract it, places it used to frequent can delay it and also possibly familiar sounds or smells can disorientate it. Note that if the human component is killed then the phantom will immediately cease to exist. Realistically it is almost impossible to kill its projections so a distraction based approach whilst hunting down its living component is strongly recommended.

We will take a moment to remember our fallen Envoys who tread the darkness in our place to protect the light. Our world hangs more precariously than we know and we are privileged to live in freedom and peace through the bravery, vigilance and sacrifice of our silent guardians.

Heroes fall, but are not forgotten


In other news we have exciting discussions underway between GMs for new games - possibly Eclipse Phase, which is very weird, Exalted which is very large or FengShui which is very fast. Whatever happens I am sure it will be very fun.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Recreational Rotations

Winter has come and gone and GMs have all but concluded their adventures, players have all but finished their arguments and dice have all but averaged out their rolls. As some things change other things will always remain the same; role players have shelves and those shelves in turn will always have a myriad of dusty universes waiting to open. We have just begun the summoning ritual for the new GMs and we shall see who or what comes through the portal to answer the call.

As for myself I gleefully went out and purchased all the DnD 5e core books when they came out including a nice shiny GM screen but as a native to percentile based systems it a foreboding learning cliff. Not only does it take me out of my agile mental muscle memory for gauging everything with a percentage chance, I get the possibly unfair impression that D&D is just a large wall of facts to memorize. This is not an entirely biased opinion as back when I was with my home crowd we ran 2nd Ed very thoroughly for long campaigns and though I respect the backdrop, the rules are for me not something that easily comes to mind. However it is enormously popular and I have forked out the money so during these next games I shall immerse myself mage like in the depths of the books and perhaps run an experimental session or too in the near future.

GM Garry is queued up next as his self made Farie Wood high fantasy system is further honed. I know that he has got a group of avid game tested arranged at the Craft Bee Co. meetups and so far has reported some very useful feedback - it will be interesting to see if he opens the same scenario at the Railway Club - its amazing how different parties can bend the same scenario in different directions. I recall have one of many interesting conversations with our resident Joseph about whether plots should be player driven or narrative driven. Not that there is a right or wrong here but like all users of the force I think its a matter of balance in all things.

So as always as a club we continue to build memories and have something to look forward to, or, if you prefer, we have much to forget and we try not to worry about the future.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Not being alive

Now I did say. I said it last week, it's in black and white and signed in internet google blood. There is a time for having a laugh and time for taking time out and seriously considering the affect ones behaviour has on the rest of the class. Last week saw a battle between the Chill party and and self replicating entity that, although weak in individual instances, overwhelmed the players by sheer numbers. Bravely blasting away with various weapons, it was a brief throwback to the frontier Wild west days. Nothing like blowing off steam, but Envoys know that weapons don't necessarily have an appropriate effect on the Unknown entities and simply charging in more often than not can result in charging out afterwards.

So some basic RPG advice for the newgamer:

1. Don't argue with the GM

This is a golden rule - the GM will always be aware of the bigger picture and plot twists that will affecting a party. As frustrating as it is for a player, there will always be a reason that things happen. Moreover there are also relationships the players have with each other and NPCs that may not be what they seem - random unlucky circumstances may not be so random or unlucky.

2. Don't be unlucky

Some things are destined. Don't read anything into sheer bad luck.

3. Don't split the party

A classic rule and the title of a song - the first thing the bad guys want to do is split you up and kill you off one by one - best advice is to not do that for them.

4. Walls have ears

Its easy to forget you are role playing sometimes - its often the case that a party will discuss situations and secret plans whilst on a street corner. Trying to backpedal afterwards is not going to work.

5. Have a plan.

More importantly make sure everyone has the same plan. Whilst party planning can run away with itself and hours can be spent planning for a few seconds action, it can be crucial time well spent.

On other news, thanks must be emailed to GM Rob stepping in with an Eclipse Phase last week. This is a somewhat existential game environment that has actually come back a few times as a favorite among players and I find it oddly intriguing myself - I didn't get a game report for last week but I shall attempt to catch up with the latest galactic report in due course.


Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Pizza Predicaments

It just an opinion and correct me if I am wrong but there is a time for fast food and there is a time for dealing with Unknown malevolent entities that are manifesting and murdering innocent people. This can create quite a conflict of interest it seems for our Save Envoys as last week saw the party split up in earnest.

Its certainly a way of covering more ground, usually with the characters entrails, and rarely a wise choice when hunting monsters. It seems that the Chill party of six  multitasked within a whisker of at least one life. Three envoys went to the morgue, two envoys went to check out an apartment and one envoy went to get Pizza. As it was late at night, the morgue was not open for business so they just hung around for a bit chatting about dead things and disturbing passers by. The Pizza parlor turned out to be quite a challenge what with the American's passion for fast food, there were dozens of choices for toppings, square pizza, round pizza, garlic dip or indeed barbecue and added to all of this is whether fries or chicken wings are most appropriate,. This was a challenging assignment but handled professionally I thought. 

The remaining pair of envoys went to investigate a suspect's penthouse apartment just a few blocks away from the suspicious death they were investigating. Rather than flash their NSA badges around, which seems to be happening rather too much,  they elected to go up to the roof and drop down onto a patio Assassins Creed style. Whist both envoys went up to the top of the building, it seems that one had a change of heart at the last minute and went for an emergency pizza just after dropping the other one off to face whatever was inside.

Cut a long story short, the only effective Envoy was very nearly overwhelmed by an entity stepping out of a mirror that had the subsequent ability to split its form in two. It was important to encourage confidence in the player as at some point the entity was firmly wrestled to the ground before another copy of itself rose from its own body - offered the fight or flight options, the envoy wisely retreated. Given that we had a couple of new players, and that the brave individual concerned was somewhat dropped in it by his colleagues, I was uncomfortably generous with them. Fair warning, this will not be happening again.