Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Cold Confusion

So I had the pleasure of sitting in on the first instalment of GM Dave's The Walking Dead Thing. As promised it started in classic style with the party flying in to a British Arctic Research Station in order to relieve the existing crew but unfortunately it seems that they were all absent on arrival. Except the mad one trying to kill us of course. Well, the resident rifle guy didn't last long but of course survived long enough to take out our transport which means our stand in pilot is suddenly more of a permanent feature to the group which is fine as we can help him with his rather awkward insurance claim.

So it has transpired so far that the base personnel have responded to a distress signal from another base and set off with one of the base caterpillar drives. Whilst we are all still trying to get a grip on things I can confirm as a qualified psychologist that everyone is freaking out. So do we settle in and try to find out what has been going on or do we set off in pursuit of another distress ? Well, we'll tune in next week but there is something we have noticed off in the distance...

I admit that there is something particularly enjoyable about landing in a cliche. Whether its just the fun of following along in cheesy authentic fashion or whether its the challenge of breaking the mould given a particular dilemma, its certainly an engaging start to imminent death and horror and everyone is busy with one issue or another in front of them. Hopefully whats in front of them wont be getting much closer..

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Circles and Cycles

Its been suggested that the Star Trek might finish this week, tho I am always sceptical when it comes to any sort of temporal speculation in a role playing game. However if a particularly incompetent  engineer starts playing with a warp core then perhaps a timely game could be produced but double agents aside, if the Trek does finish then it will actually be the only game to have completed on time.

In super technical terms the games run Feb-July and Aug-Jan but as this clips the academic summer holidays I completed the D&D so that the students in my game got in at the end. The Sentinels adventure did complete its plot arc but props to GM Krzys who is rolling it on in one shots to keep idle hands busy.

The upcoming Warhammer Dark Heresy game has its players completing their party composition now and I note that after much consternation, Karl has chosen to play the "Scum" character class. I suppose its a step up from the Village Idiot he has played previously but I guess its important to have goals in life. However as there is also an assassin in the group I think know who's going to get the last cookie when the munchies set in..

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Stranger Walking Thing

Last week I got my first glimpse of GM Dave's home brew horror which he has deftly named "The Walking Thing". No prize money for the Genres that this borrows from but the scenario is set in the high Arctic within a suitably remote British Artic Survey base. Already the sense of isolation and claustrophobia within a deadly environment sets the scene and is reminiscent of the atmosphere aboard the Nostromo. It will be interesting to see if the players can beat their score of one surviving member of the party plus a cat.

I'm not implying that a cat box is always the place to hide when confronted by rabid penguins or undead polar bears but a small cage with snacks would be very appropriate for someone who has lost their mind completely. I am aware that penguins inhabit the south polar regions before I get de-platformed but perhaps it would be a sinister spin to have them turning up unexpectedly being the megalomaniacs that they clearly are.

The Warhammer 40k role playing game already has five players I believe and I am a little unsure of the extent of GM Alessio's Nameless Land party but I have seen character sheets frantically swapping back and forth like a post apocalyptic stock market.

Last W/E also saw the end of the beginning for GM Warren's TORG game at the Dice Saloon, which has us finally rescuing a fair number of New Yorkers from a vanguard of Lizard men battling us in the Holland tunnel, We finally fought back the hoards against all the odds even considering that the Department of Works had coned off the entire area.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Hanging Around

As we are in a sort of purgatory zone as a club there is a weird bit of hanging around at present as we wait for games to close and new ones to open. Whilst we are happy to have our weird beer conversations all evening I know that the Sentinel players are rolling on one shot games at present. Sadly I don't have the time to prep anything at the moment due to reality being a real bitch but there is certainly an argument for us to run one shots much more often.

One shots have several advantages and we are fortunate to have quite a high number of GMs in the club so this also means there there will be a lot of shelves at home stacked with goodies. Plots and systems have to be considered carefully for a one or two session play so disposable characters from systems such as Paranoia are ideal. There is always the option of dropping players right in the middle of a dilemma and seeing if they can crawl their way out. Its also nice for GMs not to be too worried about the plot and particularly unworried about killing off players.

Boardgames are also another option and newer systems have become more intricate and involved. I recall play testing the Game of Thrones one club evening and whilst we only had time to play a couple of rounds, it was enough to get the gist and there are also classics like Talisman to keep us amused. As its coming up to the end of the school year at the moment it seems very appropriate to bring in board games so I will root around and see what I have at home, not sure if monopoly counts but I'd be up for role playing a top hat.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019


The 5e DarkSun is now complete leaving only Starfleet Command now to formally finish its mission before the Great Rotation. As always there are heavy compromises to make when forcing closed an adventure at a certain point. To be fair to myself, if it wasn't for a protracted debate over how much inertia a large crowd can project, there would have been a better finale.

Nevertheless it turned out that our party never escaped their petrification since the beginning of the game. Their npc mentor, Aru, was expending his own life force to project their spirits corporeally so that they could interact with the world and restore the natural order. During the adventure, Aru researched and learned the petrifcation process keeping our heroes entombed and subsequently used this spell on some of his own people in order to preserve their future - they in turn would be protected and wake up in millennia to a better world.

Although our heroes fought back a vampire as the first night fell, the following waves of undead emptying from the catacombs may well have overrun the last city of Darksun. But as Aru said at the beginning of the adventure, there was never enough water - the city was never surviving, it was just dying slowly.

Basic advice for those new to role playing. Never argue with the GM. Whilst you may not have all the facts, the main point is that you just frustrate your own game. Reality will never care about you but your friends will, that is, as long as you don't keep shouting at them.