Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Feywild Familiarity

The D&D Darksun is setting and provided there isn't too much mucking around, I reckon there is one session left. With such short games, intermittent players as well as guest spots there are simply too many constraints to provide a seamless experience and pulling plot protagonists out of a bag can be a disjointed experience although to be fair, in my particular case, the ending was planned from the moment I read one of the characters backgrounds..

Basically it all comes down to ex girlfriends as millennia age our Monk had a somewhat obsessive Dryad teacher who fell in love with him and eventually agreed to let him go in exchange for a promise to return one day. Given he was turned to stone and she was punished by her kind for her feelings for a mortal, she was banished forlorn and without hope.

Dryads live for hundreds of years and in keeping with Fey tradition (Tolkien's elves and the little mermaid being cases in point), those years would be spent exiled from her woodland leaving her nothing but to wander alone awaiting her end. However where there is a will there is a way, so by taking the Vampire's curse she would then have all the time to reshape the world that turned upon her and wait for her long lost student to keep his promise. The unforeseen consequence however was that the Gods left Athas in permanent sunlight after their overthrow of the Necromancers and if its one thing vampires cant stand, it's a tan.

However as the party have now restored the natural order to the world the first night in aeons is falling and alongside it awake its inhabitants..

Tuesday, 18 June 2019


Its difficult to suggest that I have been looking forward to 2077 as that would make me 108 years old and whilst that many candles on a birthday cake could be managed in principal with appropriate health and safety planning my main concern would be consuming excess levels of fire retardant. However with the forthcoming genetic and cybertec revolutions that we have all been promised my future resistance to excess aging and marzipan may well be a thing of the past.

I do very much enjoy the cyber culture, obviously such films as Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell, Aeon Flux and the Matrix being close to the archetypes and I have also enjoyed the more recent interpretations such as Incorporated and the incredibly faithful Altered Carbon. Whilst we have dabbled in the realm of Eclipse Phase at the club I don't think we have actually played any other game set in that genre though of course cyber enhancement does crop up as part of the more incidental mechanics of many of the worlds we have experienced.

Existentialism is hard to get your head around but does provide many unique situations for role-players, more so when it comes to the notion of identity what with multiple copies of characters running around with varying memories depending on when they were instanced let alone all the bodily augmentations - cyberpunk provides a deeply invasive as well as a highly intimate relationship with the world around you but as with access to the raw building blocks of humanity, trauma is earth shattering when it happens.

In keeping with RPG viability and just like the latest Cthulu, the new Cyberpunk 2077 is released alongside its videogame counterpart but nevertheless stems from a lineage going back to the late '80s as I was playing it back then at Uni and have since then kept it at the back of my mind, perhaps in the near future we will be playing something set in the near future...

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Term Time

One of the logistical challenges we face as a club are the large cohorts of students in and around Brighton; what with two universities and a number of colleges its quite common to get undergraduates wandering in and filling their valuable study time by signing up for a game. Whilst we are all welcoming across all species there is a corollary circumstance which means that if a GM gets two or three students in a party then they will tend to evaporate as the summer exams and holidays impact. This is one of the reasons why we get a little lighter on players over the brighter months and come the Autumn we then get more interest. It seems that in the D&D for example that a few of the younger players are suddenly not on the scene and this is no coincidence. However as we are approaching the end of our current cycle I know that at least one of the other games has broken so buy judicious use of cunning and guilt I'm sure I can draw in some other players for the upcoming finale.

All told this implies that we are probably back to three games for a while which is no bad thing as whilst there is ample room for a couple of other games it does mean running them in the bar area which I don't mind personally but one does get hassled be jukebox junkies and the occasional purveyor of raffle tickets. 

On another social note, GM Warren booked us into Dice Saloon last Sunday for another installment of TORG and it's starting to flesh out a bit both in terms of the mechanics as well as the scenario. We are in the middle of an inter dimensional incursion in New York and whilst we have just been dealing with the shock of dinosaurs, tropical forests and lizard men on the block, we have now a sense of a power structure behind an invasion and are in contact with an advanced AI from a seemingly extinct race that lost its battle against similar events. Its all getting very interesting and as always with TORG, knowing too much or too little can lead to sudden regression or evolution of ones character; its a bit like Darwinian snakes and ladders.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Don't Swallow

Well, it was a pleasure to have GM Max at the table last week. Whilst he lives next door to the club we occasionally get his presence by way of a quick social and when the stars converge he will bring his Viking speakers along and treat us to a game of something. Whilst he didn't intend to sit down and play I actually had an absent orc, in more ways than one, and given the chance to pick up a quick and easy character we snared him for a session.

I particularly enjoy low int characters myself as its a great chance to have a laugh, keep the plot rolling along whilst trundling from one predicament to another. It's a sort of near death slapstick but in the case of the Orc Barbarian, re pleat with trophies sticking out of him like a drunken game of kerplunk, he did somehow manage to swallow a water stone at some point. These stones generate water on a slow and steady basis and are placed inside a water skin for survival in arid climates or long journeys. Problem now is that the Orc will have to make a roll every time his danger sense goes off or he will wet himself.

More along the lines of new games coming up, the vaguest plans are forming. We have lost a few members to the summer suns and a couple will have moved on to even weirder clubs so I am unclear whether we have enough players to sustain another four games but provisionally we have a list of:

GM Alessio - Italian Vampires - Nosferatu I guess
GM Alex - Warhammer Fantasy.
GM Dave - Home Brew Horror
GM Max - Cyberpunk

This is not legally binding by far but with the success I have had on Meetups drawing in D&D players I will be interested if we can summon others from the ether to play some less D&D stuff.