Thursday, 31 October 2019

Carry on Turning

Its been a long time since I have passed a note to a GM but in last week's Walking Dead Thing it was a pleasure to see the paranoia going up a level. I had gratefully been given a guest NPC to play that had been hiding in a small hanger following a zombie attack on an arctic base. Having been deftly liberated by the rest of the party I dutifully handed on some useful information but they had neglected to see if I had been infected. Honestly, as if Halloween season wasn't enough of a clue. 

For my character's part, she was unaware that there was a zombie situation at all having been hidden away for three days - her presumption was that there was some sort of human rabies going around but as ludicrous as that rationalisation was, once bitten, twice shy - at least where sanity is concerned..

My note to the GM read "When can I turn ?" , the answer was "When you like..". I picked my moment well but unfortunately whilst I managed to isolate a victim, it was the fighter of the party and despite clawing at Jack's face (always a pleasure), we left it with him about to blow my brains out.

I have to say, I quite like GM Dave's home brew mechanics as I don't have to think too hard and whilst one can be a little unlucky on the rolls it feels fair. However I very much suspect the zombies will be rolling extra dice for Halloween...

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Childhoods End

Soon our ancient and venerable comms system will close with the cessation of  Yahoo Groups that has been faithfully propping up our worlds since June 16th 2003 when the very first post was made by Sam Willcocks. In respect I have preserved a message in time from forgotten players who adventured long before us. I shall leave it here for whoever passes through so they can read it.

Nov 10 2005

Hey Shaggy,

I don't know if the Y-ster's let you loose again, but I hope the old man will let you read your mail at least.  (And I haven't forgotten he can read it too.  Hi Yves, how's it hanging?)  Hope your punishment wasn't too painful, but hey, these things happen if you only Fall halfway.  Discipline sucks.  I guess it won't help any when you hear that Abidah, Cabbon and I all got rewarded: nice new attunements and other goodies for all three of us.  Too bad Providence isn't fair, but maybe He's trying to tell you something, ever thought of that?

You must know by now that our helpful friend turned out to be a Serpent all along.  Should have twigged, really, cause he didn't murder anyone.  Far too nice to be a Malak, let alone a servitor of Laurence.  But he's a very useful guy, can't trust him of course, but then the same goes for most Archangels, eh?  You'll be seeing him again, and the rest of us, don't worry.  My handle's Meonoiada now, by the way, Jehoiada was just too brown-tonguey.  And Abidah is now Abidad, but he's the same dependable ally, I'm glad he's on my side.

I can't deny it feels good now, being on the side of freedom.  It's a pity you're still a slave to Destiny, but you've got enough time to come to your senses and free yourself before we kick off Armageddon.  It's the mortals I feel sorry for: they only have a few decades to shine, and you're trying to manipulate them into throwing it all away.  God meant people to do great things and fulfil themselves, not bow down to Him and do all the things He would do Himself if he wanted them done.  I understand that now.  Kronos understands it.  Lucifer understands it.  God understands it too, and that's why He allows our influence to grow (by our own hard work, of course).

I reckon Yves understands it too, he's the only AA who seems to appreciate that Adam's children have grown up, they don't need nursemaids, or nannies, or even teachers any more.  Now it's the time for leaders, and that's where we come in.  Perhaps it's harder for you, because you could never love people the way I do, but if you're brave enough to rise to the occasion you'll discover that leadership has its rewards, both spiritual and the more worldly sort.  You know, the kinds of pleasures you're not allowed to indulge in a host - well, not until you pick up the courage to change sides anyhow.

See you soon, hope you won't force us to damage any poor hosts of yours,


Wednesday, 16 October 2019

High Roller

Not sure why this question hasn't come up before now but in all the years I have been throwing dice I have never thought about the largest number I have ever rolled. There is a certain meta issue here as a big part of the suspense in gaming is that moment which hinges on a critically important result. It's the gambling fix that grabs the whole table's attention at either a plot point or an event that could permanently alter a character arc.

Whilst its fun of course it is in essence an appeal to fate; we all spend so much of our lives creating order out of chaos its just nice to have a break and let the God's take over for a bit. Indeed, I have come to understand that a large part of the high roller's presence at the gambling table is that besides often a huge ego, the little gambling tokens on a casino game board are the only things in their lives they don't have complete and utter control of. Whilst it would be interesting to invite a multi billionaire to a role playing game my main question is one of mechanics.

A few systems of late have what we term as an 'exploding' quality, such as the Walking Dead Thing - if you roll a 6 then you roll again and add it your score. Whilst this process continues, it does get to a point where an overwhelming success cant get any better. I prefer the MERP and Rolemaster percentile systems where if you roll 96 or above you roll again and add it to the result which is a necessary target for harming super large creatures such as Dragons or Balrogs. Tangentially there are the damage rolls and to be fair, in high level games I have rolled hand fulls of D10s and come to think of it, letting off explosives must be a fist full of fun. I haven't let anything off as large as a nuclear weapon or starship reactor but I know those who have so perhaps I should be talking to them.

Either way, spare a thought for the poor bloke who rolled a natural 756,000 on the state highway which I think must be a very special sort of fumble..

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Ice and Dice

I am dimly considering starting a D&D shortly and seeing who I can suck off the internet. Whilst that sounds incredibly inappropriate it did sort of work last time and whilst a couple of the players went on to pastures new, most of them stayed to enjoy the pizza, sarcasm and other RPG systems - it's often the case that a D&D newbie will settle in for the long haul once they break the ice and dice for the first time. At present the existing 3 games are running strong but when we are a couple of players over I am aware that some of us are left in the bar chatting over a few pints for a couple of hours and whilst I'm very  happy to do so we should be playing really.

Of course existing GMs are always welcoming by way of offering to squeeze people in but I have the opinion it leans against them as whilst its possible logistically to run with several players, their experience does not translate well from their perspective as they can just be left for too long before being able to act, effectively disengaging them. To be fair a group of experienced role players will wait their turn but our sessions are short and the bar is quite tempting.

So regarding an extra game it plays well as the students are back at uni and if its a D&D it will get traction and I don't have to sit downstairs clawing at peoples faces for want of something to do. All I need now is some inspiration, a cunning plot and the tough love to kill of argumentative players.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

What have we done ?

When does history become lore and lore become legend ? It was a few months ago we celebrated out 10th anniversary as a blog but of course the club has been going longer than that before nesting at the Railway Club. Our legacy is growing though in terms of the systems we have played and I know that the Discord server users are leaving the chat groups in place now as the games come and go. This will start to preserve our culture in one digital format and the Blog tends to hold details of rotations as well.

Indeed its a common question when we get new roleplayers in and also when I go down to the Craft Beer company - "So what have you played". The half drunk response is always D&D but as the passionate people stay on then we begin to appreciate the diversity of our pastime so in this vein here is a list of what we have played at the bar...I think:

Star Wars, Cthulu, Warhammer Fantasy, Song of Ice and Fire, RuneQuest, 13th Age, D&D, Achtung! Cthulu, Dogs in the Vineyard, Blades in the Dark, Eclipse Phase, Feng Shui, Changing Breeds, MERP, Strike, Numenera, Earthdawn, Chill, Star Trek, Shadowrun, Phoenix Dawn Command, Exalted, Part Time Gods, The Strange, Stars Without Number, Sentinels, Mutant Zero, Warhammer Heresy,  Torg, The Walking Dead Thing, Nameless Land.

Bar the fact I have probably missed something - that is a lot of mucking around. Either way I sense we have hardly scratched the surface of some people's collections...