Tuesday, 26 November 2019

The Statistics of Dominoes

Now its not the first time I have had dominoes at a roleplaying game. In fact Pizza is somewhat of an optimum choice in my opinion as it can be wielded one handed, shared with friends and can also be thrown. As a projectile weapon it does do extra damage if it impacts your foe cheese side first as the adhesion of liquid mozzarella has a severe burning effect akin to napalm along with a slight savory aftertaste.

Having said all this, I was genuinely surprised and intrigued as GM Dave's continued theory crafting introduced a resolution system using actual dominoes. Not only had I never seen this before, it would never even have occurred to me. Players draw a number of dominoes from a pool and play continues clockwise. As in the original game, players must place their domino corresponding to the numbers already in play but of course there are choices in doing so that will affect the next players. After having being placed, damage totals are counted back along the line and summed to get a total to resolve action.

I'm not sure I can think of the all the bizarre things I have seen in life that have sort of worked but this qualifies really although akin to all mad geniuses in their basements experimenting well in to the night with dead bodies, one can go too far I suppose. I mean I wouldn't want to be ducking for apples that have numbers on them or utilising any variant of Russian roulette. Perhaps I'll just stick to dice and Thunderball for now.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

One Shot

Unbelievable. Look, I know that in the great genre of scifi horror its really only the cat that survives but honestly, two characters in two sessions! The familiar call of "Hand me Brian" went up in the previous Walking Dead Thing last Thursday as I had to play our stand in Dog once more due to a sudden increase in my characters lead content.

To be fair to GM Dave, my last character was a deliberately infected bit part so I was on the clock anyways but just like some sort of rollover Karma from a previous life Nick's character only went and bloody shot me. Well, I say me, I do actually mean Pietro's character but its one of those awkward moments as we'll see the expression on his face this week when he finds out.. perhaps he can jut carry on with a zombie instead and with a little luck he wont notice but really, this isn't going to do my reputation any good. And its not like we had plenty of bullets to spare either, any old blunt instrument  would have been fine to get a zombie dog off of me, even a doggy biscuit or did anyone think of throwing a ball, but no, Nick pulls out a gun and then pulls out a fumble. Well, woof.

I think we need some sort of green cross code for the club when it comes to shooting at other party members; it was the same in the last D&D I ran.. Remember kids, look both ways before closing your eyes and firing in random directions. Think that's going on Nick's next T-shirt.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Techno Tables

Does Baldurs Gate have an Ikea ? I wouldn't be surprised. Perhaps flat pack furniture would be considered as some sort of  arcane magic and I am already imagining a scenario where the Wizards of Ikea residing in the Tower of Laminated Chipboard, command a party to seek out the long fabled Alan Key of turning. The point is that the increasing popularity of RPGs have given birth to a whole range of role playing specific furniture and whilst the mansions of the rich and criminal would sport a billiards room or perhaps a poker lounge, its fashionable now to add a role playing table to the west wing.

I have spoken about tools of the trade before and barring a pencil and rubber there is, in principal, not much else needed. In fact I still don't understand that long standing players still tun up to Thursdays and have to borrow graphite. I wonder if it stems from trauma related to old arguments with GMs, after all, pencils can get very sharp indeed and I can imagine that after community service, a reforming role player would not be permitted to carry anything pointed for a number of years. However if you are going to splash out then do it in style.

Technology now seems to be a regular player for some GMs and  DM screens have given way to lcd screens on occasion. I don't mind it so much but as technology dominates our lives I enjoy a break from it for the most part but I wouldn't judge others. Neverthless, as the latest technology can be artistically crafted into the most traditional of designs, why not enjoy the perfect fusion of woodtech for the perfect atmosphere; woodpunk by any other name.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019



One persons terrorist is another persons freedom fighter. Its also true to say that there is more plot in that one sentence that many of the less reputable games I have played in. That's not not to criticize GMs out of hand as parties will immediately go off road given the chance but its easy to unwittingly sabotage ones own plot by gleefully following off characters into the distance.

But as we are already speaking of plots, treachery and sabotage, today's celebrations  remind me more of Blades in the Dark than knives in the back and you could do a lot worse than blowing up the government and starting a revolution provided you make sure you are on the winning side.

Everything is political on some level where intentions are concerned but whilst politics is a rather dry subject natively there is plenty of scope for intrigue and adventure for GMs. The best native political system I have played is probably Song of Ice and Fire as Game of Thrones just says it all. Starting your characters as part of a house vying for power you also maintain a homestead and power base as experience and wealth are gained - all the character objectives and scenarios are framed with this in mind. Blades in the Dark comes a close second I think as the entire city world is carved up into little power bases and your overarching aim is to establish and grow your faction which, like GoT, has its own stats. Political failure in either system is paid for in blood.

Strangely enough I was pleasantly surprised with the D&D Planescape political structures as Sigil has a deep history of ancient factions along with a revolution and then another layer of factions arising on top of that. More interestingly they are not all orientated towards power as some are just plain nihilistic, some are charitable and some are existential - this really opens up the plot landscape and I will go back to it. Only thing is, if you have a revolution in a floating city, just be very careful about blowing things up...