Monday, 28 January 2019

Good Character

So the next set of adventures has begun and GMs have been busily brewing up plots and plans in true alchemy fashion. I was slightly concerned that the D&D lot would be left without a suitable genre but it seems most of them have transposed over to GM Jack's 13th Age and after a brief chat with a couple of them after the character generation it seems they are engaged enough to give it a go.

D&D is always the gateway drug for new role players and there is nothing wrong with staying in such a rich ecosystem for ones entire role playing career but one of the nice things about our club is that even rotating three or four games every six months means that after only a few years a very wide variety of environments are offered and a rich experience builds up. Basically its how we raise our Wisdom stat.

In other games, GM Krzy's Sentinels superhero game is being prepared for action and GM Jon's Star Trek crew are being assigned their positions ready for disembarkation. I did hang back myself for the last evening as I wasn't sure on player numbers and their distribution in games. It was a great opportunity to catch up with Warren who has returned for a while, at least as long as his night shifts permit, but as an extra bonus we did a quick character gen and play test of the Mutant Zero system. Another Modiphius brand and coincidentally a Post Apocalyptic system, it was incredibly fast to outline characters and get going - there are only a few archetypes to choose from, perhaps because there are indeed only a few viable professions that can survive a great collapse. Either way the system is built on D6 where a skill value represents the number of dice that can be rolled and successes happen when one or more sixes come up. I am a big fan of quick and easy mechanics and it seems similar to the D6 Star Wars system so I might be tempted to prep a game. Here's the drama and I might add I am liking trailers for RPGs, though like the latest Cthulu, its released alongside the video game.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Post Apocalyptic Post

So in keeping with global catastrophes, it would seem that the Italian based Apocalypse game planned for the forthcoming rotation has failed its timely arrive roll. I suppose that's sort of post ironic but on the other hand we can just leave it until next time and it will be something to look forward to, though I'm always curious as to where the end of civilisations may take us. Of course it depends on the circumstances but in broad terms pandemics breed zombies, nuclear wars breed mutants, computers breed paranoia and aliens just breed.

We have already enjoyed a few great PA games over the years and the Wikipedia article is quite faithful in this respect. Its noteworthy that they list Eclipse Phase which we have played and which I very much enjoyed; a sort of Altered Carbon meets The Thing. An "eclipse phase" is the period between when a cell is infected by the virus and when the virus appears within the cell and transforms it. During this period, the cell does not appear to be infected, but it is.

I also recall The Morrow Project from my younger days which was reborn in 4th edition from its faithful fan base in 2013 but whilst I've not heard much feedback it still remains in retail. But I like the idea of characters blearily waking up from stasis pods in the far flung future.

So in a more present time frame GM Krzys will be advancing a Superhero kick starter, I believe in play test before its full release, as we continue to be more cutting edge than the Samurai version of Sweeny Todd.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019


So there is another aspect of GMing in particular and roleplaying in general that has hitherto remained unmentioned in these pages. As an ex teacher I have had plenty experience in addressing groups of people on a regular basis and whilst it comes naturally to some, even those unaccustomed to oratory do get into a stride quite quickly as dilemmas, plots and opinions tend to move everyone along very quickly - events make their presence felt despite whomever is running a game. The problem is when verbals get the better you in key moments it can both be very amusing but also if a bargain is struck in error then you can also be held accountable. Careless talk costs lives they say.

On the amusing side for example I did accidentally open a rectical during the Planescape last week rather than a rectangular portal but despite some reservations the entire party did eventually jump through to their finale. I have also tried assassinating someone using nothing more than the elephant of surprise, which is particularly awkward to keep handy during stealthy moments, and let us never forget the magnificent post mortem deduction from Sherlock Holmes that "He was battered to death with a blunt excrement". I also discussed running a Cider Punk with friends this week - a sort of Blade Runner / Farming epic.

Gratefully in other news, I do believe we are now agreed that GM Jack will step in with a 13th Age adventure which means we can offer the more well rounded portfolio of SciFi, PostApocalypse and Fantasy. So roll up, roll high, roll on and embrace your inner elf confidence.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Self Service Mortuaries

I love it when a plan doesn't come together. Whilst the games are starting to close now, there is always the feeling that someone will try and go off road at the last roundabout. A bit like a taking a child home from Disneyland, there can be a lot of kicking and screaming as well as occasional giant cuddly creature to contend with. The Planescape party is no exception and whilst I have to give credit to players that have been keeping 3rd level characters alive in the midst of fireballs, the last session has been a somewhat traditional English farce.

Having been asked to cremate a body and return the ashes as part of a portal spell component, our Planescape party have succeeded in precisely fifty percent of their objective, namely they have been wandering around town with a corpse. To be fair, its still quite fresh so there are no dogs following them at present and they did have to get out of a sticky situation quite quickly. Interestingly it's a dwarf's corpse which was fortunate as they did have an elvish cloak to wrap it in, rather than the other way around, so sort of posing as a Sigil Carpet Cleaning Company they were lucky that no one stopped them on their way home for a free sample.

The conversation then migrated toward the somewhat darker end of comedy as without a crematorium oven they were of course left debating whether to dismember the body and pop into a local bakery to finish the job or drop by a few Blacksmiths. They didn't consider a potters kiln as it happens but to be fair, floor space in Sigil is at such a premium, a luck check would be in order here. Never seen Dwarf as an optional topping on Dominoe's Pizza but they did decide to skip the local bread shops and appropriately enough return to the first plane of Hell to finish the job. No one tell the Monk.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Happy New Games

So our festive frivolities have now been had over a few pints of ale and a particularly ridiculous 10 handed game of Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards. Whilst I was aware that there were also unsavoury things being done to unicorns, it was also nice to welcome a couple of new faces.

Whilst it's slightly fake news to say the games have now finished, we do have three lined up imminently as previously mentioned tho I think there will be plenty to do as players consider new characters and GMs consider their respective worlds. Note for the record that GMs Alessio and Elena are actually running a post apocalyptic scenario which I only mention as I was discussing with friends the other night whether after an actual apocalypse, all role playing games would then be post apocalyptic and would need rebranding. I've enjoyed several PA games in my time and its a large enough genre to explore almost every narrative from irradiated wastelands to enigmatic civilisations a billion years hence; my favourite being Gamma World I think.

Nevertheless my consideration is whether we need a fourth game prepped; I've not had an opportunity to ascertain where the Starfinder is at present tho we have lost a couple of members to the winds of fate but we have had others blown in. Whether the Starfinder rolls on or not I think its time for a roll call.