Sunday, June 19, 2011

We were missing a player tonight, or how to be awesome!

You'll read the word awesome a lot in this post, you've been warned.

So last night I was reading some blogs and trying to figure out how I might want todays game to shape up. For probably the fiftieth time I stopped in at Risus Monkey, but for the first time I really read what he was doing with the little gem Old School Hack, and I thought "self you need a little break from this quasi-epic campaign, the paladin's player isn't going to be there why not just have a good time with a quick pick-up game".  Super glad I did.  We had characters rolled, written up, and a quick rules primer done in under half an hour.  The players did a little role playing to get started, spent an hour or so dealing with one of the players adventuring goal.  They found a map to a "bandits lair" and headed out to explore.

If you haven't taken the twenty minutes to browse through the rules, the main crux of game is to be completely fraking awesome, and if your character does some thing awesome you get an awesome point, that anyone at the table can award.  Then the only way you get experience is to spend awesome points, an ingenious way to get players to think about what they are doing beyond "I hit it with my axe".  I've tried to introduce DFRPG style fate points in our game from the get go.  It has been less than a stellar success, in fact it's been a pretty big bust. No one including me really got it, so a few sessions ago I introduced hero points.  Basically do some thing cool or heroic and you get a hero point which can be used to add a d6 to any d20 roll, start with three and you can earn up to five.  Sounds simple enough, and the players spent a few when their backs against the wall.  They just never seemed to want to earn more ... probably my fault.

Driving over to the game I thought, how do I encourage them to use and earn these points ... if you  are not at least kind of interesting while you try to do some thing, and I figured it would come up in combat, then you are lame and all the enemies in the arena of your lameness get a free attack on you that automatically hits.  Of course I forgot tell anyone this until the violation had been committed and the punishment dolled out.  I had told them the point was to freaking awesome and cool, oops.  Three auto hits, three points of damage, and one sort of butt hurt player later everyone got it, I apologized he was cool about it.  Awesomeness followed, and it was cool.  Now hopefully they can translate it over to the C&C game, I have faith.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Rules and me

I love indie games, I want to play more indie games, but it's kind of hard to find non D&D (throw Pathfinder in there) gamers.  I don't know if people my age just want to imagine themselves killing goblins, orcs, and other shit to take their stuff, or what, but that's not the place where I am with my gaming.  I am hoping to run a Witchcraft game very soon, and plan on developing a deep interactive plot with deep character development, NPC intrigue, a little horror all wrapped in a web of nasty trouble. I did, however, tell myself I would finish the story arc our game group is on for Castles and Crusades.  I think more than indie games I'm just itching to play a non Fantasy game.  The Star Wars game we started with the remnants on the AD&D2e group ... well let me be honest I don't think one session counts as starting, was a glimmer of hope dashed by new employment for the GM.

So I went on the hunt for another game group to join, and found a new local Pathfinder game.  Now I do enjoy me some rules light, mostly because that's about all me little dude brain can handle as a GM.  Last night was our second session, and going till midnight on a Tuesday was cool, but made getting up at 6 (okay I snoozed till 7) this morning sort of tough.  As a player I love the free online tools other geeks have made for me, and I can see as a GM it would be quick to throw a stat block together in a pinch.  My problem is all the rules take a certain amount of creativity out of the game.  In our C&C game I let my players do pretty much any thing if they have a great description of the action, and make an appropriate ability check.  If they want to get up and charge the filthy ragged savage that just attacked their camp fine, but it better sound like "I leap to my feet grabbing orc cleaver scream get off my sister you fiend throwing down the scabbard, I spring over the dead fire pit I smash the bastard in the nose with a quick head butt and run the violator through."  That's cool, and thank God there aren't move actions, standard action, free actions and whiner actions.  I just want to play not spend most of the night watching someone else look up rules in a big book.  However for now the group has been fun and I'll keep playing.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fire Storm, good vs. bad

You notice the ground around you start to crackle as small embers come to life at your feet.  In an instant you are engulfed in arcane fire.  Smoke clogs your lungs and eyes, hair burns as does your flesh.  Oh go ahead and make a Dex. save!  Hugo reacts instantly nimbly leaping to relative safety.  Miguel shrugs it the burning fire off like a light rain shower his Dwarven resistance to the arcane serves him well.  His brother Alfonso is not so lucky, the fire overtakes him, he does not emerge from the flames.  Captain Ron, though only on the edge of the deadly burning ring, struggles in the fire, and must have been over come by the smoke inhaling a lungful at the wrong second.  Ron falls hard just out of the deadly ring.  

The Demon's minion cases Fire Storm, make a Dex Save.  Hugo and Miguel take 13 hp damage, and get out, Ron and Alfonso take the full 26 points of damage and both are knocked unconscious.

Which was I, and which do I try to be?  How do you want to handle descriptions?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I was a bad GM today

I mapped out a few encounters (both role playing and potential combat), that forwarded the plot we've been embroiled in.  In my mind (foreshadowing here) I mapped out the introduction of some new npc's, who I did have stats for, their personalities and motivations.  I planned to introduce a little dynamic sub plot ... and I got to the table and my mind went kind of blank.

Note to self write more depend on your fragile male noggin less.