Random Thoughts

RPGs – The Final Sessions

Final in the sense that they’re the last games I will play in my current home. When next I play, I’ll be in my new house in my new game room.

2018-05-06 10.09.31For the last three sessions I’ve been a player, rather than GM. My GeekChic table is a sad remnant of it’s former self. Disassembly proved surprisingly easy; about 10 minutes of work with a helper (technically, I was the helper while someone more proficient than I figured out which screws to remove). I’ll be able to reassemble most of it by myself, needing help only to put the top back on the table (it’s there hiding under the blanket).

So, what did we play?

We had a crew of Bravos. I played a Tycherosi hound, Uxorious Gethsemane-Prince, aka Crimson Crow. His particular vice was pleasure, so I decided not only did he frequent brothels, he was also an employee of his favored one. I don’t remember all of the rest of the crew, because my notes are packed, but we had a Whisper (I think) whose vice was being possessed by ghosts.

Basically, we planned a heist of a jewelry store, summoning a few ghosts in the processes (which I gunned down in the guise of being a Good Citizen™ while the rest of my crew escaped with the goods). It got one of my prostitute friends and myself arrested and beaten (how else are they going to get answers from a demon-looking guy, right?), but no charges were pressed and we scored some coin, increased our rep, and made a rival gang look bad. The Barbican Bastards were on their way to becoming real players.

After that, we played:starfinder_1000x200

Ysoki_envoy_scoundrelThe adventure was Live Exploration Extreme!, kind of a “Naked & Afraid”-style reality show hosted by a ghoul that reminded one of our players of Xcrawl. I played an ace pilot Ysoki I named Zitch Twitchwhisker. Since it’s a published adventure, I won’t give away any plot (plus I was EXHAUSTED, so there are some elements, I realized last night when my wife was talking about it, that I don’t remember at all).

While, I have reservations about the system (low-level play is fine, but I suspect high-level play will still bog down like Pathfinder does), the adventure was a lot of fun. I resisted the urge to play an android because I know a lot of Benderisms would come out (I’ve been binging Futurama lately), and I didn’t want to disrupt the game with a hearty “Bite my shiny, metal ass!” I may have thrown in a “We’re boned!” or two, though.

Zitch was fun to play. He had ALL the skills: computers, engineering, piloting… everything I needed to be awesome. I may have been a little racist towards the ghouls, though and I definitely remember bullshitting a few of the NPCs at one point.

In summary, Blades in the Dark is awesome: would play again. Starfinder has a great setting, but I’ll bet once you get into the mid-high levels, problems I had with Pathfinder will rear their heads again, though since there aren’t as many supplements (yet), I’m sure rules bloat isn’t as big of a problem. I’d play low-level Starfinder again. I’d play or run D&D 5E in Starfinder’s setting in a heartbeat, though.

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End of Year Update

I don’t know if this will really be the last update this year, but since I mostly use this to log the games I run, and I’m between campaigns right now, it might be.

After the conclusion of my Wand of Orcus campaign, I’ve been taking a break from GMing to actually sit and play. The last three sessions have been Savage Worlds games. One sci-fi, one Deadlands Reloaded, and one supers game.

Due to the way holiday schedules work out, there won’t be another game until December 22, which is scheduled to be our annual Doctor Who Christmas Special game (using Cubicle 7’s excellent Adventures in Time and Space Doctor Who RPG).

On January 5th, with the holidays wrapped up, we’ll play… well, we’ll have to see. I need to play-test two games for Gary Con in March and there’s five sessions scheduled between the first of the year and Gary Con. I haven’t decided what my next long-term campaign will be. Maybe it’ll be a continuation of the Spelljammer Wand of Orcus game (i.e. high-level w/same characters, but not Spelljammer; something more grounded), maybe a new D&D campaign like Tomb of Annihilation, maybe Star Trek Adventures, maybe Star Wars. Whatever it is, it’ll be something that requires low prep for the first quarter of the year. Maybe I’ll just sit out as GM until things settle down.

Have a happy holiday season! There’s a lot of celebrating to do!

Categories: Random Thoughts

#RPGaDAY 2017 – What do you anticipate most for gaming in 2018?

Maybe I’m being overly optimistic, but for 2018 I’m anticipating the announcement of a proper Fallout RPG. I have ZERO knowledge that such a thing will be happening, but with Modiphius producing a mini-based skirmish game and Fantasy Flight Games producing a board game, it seems like it’s only a matter of time. If it happens using a system with which I’m already familiar (like FFG’s narrative dice system, aka Genesys), then so much the better.

I’m also looking forward to the release of the Sentinels Comics superhero RPG. I like superhero games in concept, but I’ve never really been able to get into one. Maybe this will be another game that I wish I could like, but just can’t figure out how to utilize in campaign play, or maybe it won’t. I want to see it, though.

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#RPGaDAY 2017 – What is an RPG genre mash-up you would most like to see?

Frankly, I can’t think of a genre mash-up I want that isn’t already available.

Take any genre and you can add Comedy just by the way you play; you don’t need rules for that. Horror can also be interjected in just about any genre by just setting the proper mood. I’m sure opinions will vary wildly on this, but I usually don’t try to emulate a specific genre and be a real stickler that it NEVER devolves or evolves into something else. If we’re all having fun, I really don’t care if a sneaky, steal-the-MacGuffin adventure becomes a comedy heist.

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#RPGaDAY 2017 – What has been the best-run RPG Kickstarter you have backed?

Do miniatures count as an RPG Kickstarter? If so, then I’m going to go with Ryan Wolfe’s map posters & miniature Kickstarters for space ship and space stations. I’ve backed at least half-a-dozen of these so far and for my pledge, I get a miniature-scale ship/station poster map (with PDFs) and a highly detailed resin miniature and base. Not only that, but in each and every case, the rewards have shipped no later than a week after the funding period completed. I’ve pre-ordered products from Amazon with longer turn-around time than that.

You may be thinking “Hey! Miniatures are RPG-related products and this question is about RPGs!” OK, fine. If I have to pick an RPG Kickstarter than I would say was the best run, it’s a toss-up between the various Cypher System Kickstarters run by Monte Cook Games and Goodman Games’s Kickstarters. I’ve backed several projects from both of these companies and neither have failed to impress me with their communication, quality, and timeliness. That’s not to say I haven’t received products late from either of them, but their communication was open enough that the delay wasn’t unexpected and I never felt taken advantage of. Plus, working in publishing myself, the delays were within what I would consider reasonable given the nature of publishing and printing. They are both companies I have absolute confidence will deliver a quality product in a timely manner and I don’t hesitate to back their Kickstarters if they’re offering a product in which I am interested.


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#RGPaDAY 2017 – What film/series is the biggest source of quotes in your group?

When we’re playing D&D, probably the film that gets quoted most is Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The Princess Bride gets some quote-love, but probably not to the same extent. It’s not a regular thing; what gets referenced is highly contextual in my group. Half the players are just as likely to bust out song lyrics for a given situation rather than a movie quote. Video games in the same genre are often referenced, as well.

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#RPGaDAY 2017 – What are your essential tools for good gaming?

For good gaming, my needs are simple: a notebook and something to write with. That’s all I NEED to come up with an evening’s entertainment. Now, depending on the game, I might have to consult rulebooks (especially for monsters), but I’m not sure that counts for the purpose of this question.

I don’t NEED minis, maps, sculpted terrain, a fancy table, form-fillable character sheets, etc. I like to have many of those, but they’re not essential tools. I suppose good friends and a comfortable gaming environment are very useful, but I wouldn’t call those essential tools.

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#RPGaDAY 2017 – Which RPG provides the most useful resources?

Of the games I regularly play, D&D has enough resources, both on- and off-line, that I can find pretty much whatever I’m looking for with a fairly quick Google search. It makes sense, though. D&D is one of the oldest RPGs and probably has the largest player base of any RPG in the world. Ever since I started using the Internet in the 1990s, I’ve been able to find online resources for D&D (and there certainly was no lack of printed resources back then).

I gotta give a shout-out to the fan efforts to support WEG’s D6 Star Wars RPG and the fan supporting Goodman Games’s Dungeon Crawl Classics. There’s a ton of high-quality resources online for both of those games

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#RPGaDAY 2017 – What is the best way to thank your GM?

Other GMs may be different, but I’m just happy if my players express some sort of happiness or satisfaction with the session. “Thanks, good game” is all I really need. That’s not to say I’ll turn down other forms of gratitude, I just don’t expect them.

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#RPGaDAY 2017 – Share a PWYW publisher who should be charging more.

I can’t really answer this. I don’t browse enough electronic RPG listing to know off-hand who utilizes PWYW AND has quality-enough products that they really should charge a minimum. I assume that any company who has something you’d expect to pay money for and is actually giving it away has a source of revenue to keep them solvent.

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