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Showing posts from September, 2013

Shadowrun: Vlad Checking In

So Vlad checks in....

Yeah, it has been a strange week.  I'm trying to do what I do and keep my nose clean.

We had an incident getting away from the last job.  A couple in a black sedan was following.  I spotted the tail on the bus.  They stopped and the car hit them.  It was a bug plant, so the guys took care of it while I distracted them.  We nearly had a fire-fight with and angry dwarf carrying a shotgun as big as he was.

We got to the drop off -- a used car lot.  We arrived just in time to seeing someone leave.  The guy there was dead, at least someone was sure.  I called Mr Fixit, we got directions to hide the loot, burn the joint, and grab the tapes of who did the hit.  Probably one of Big Tony's guys was the bad guy I saw leaving.  Zero copied the data so we have something of value.  Tyres about blew himself up.  That angry dwarf showed up again -- luckily I smooth-talked him enough to avoid getting shot.

On to a place called the Kamilla Club, the rest of the crew's…

The Emeril Method of GM Planning

I know as much about Emeril as the first few lines of his wikipedia page, a few catch  phrases heard here and there, maybe one morning news segment's worth of observation of him cooking, and the summary of him in Futurama's ongoing spoof of him.  The last items is probably most revealing.  Bam!

Still this is enough to warrant naming this whole GM planning method  after him.  Summarize it with one catch phrase:  "take it up a notch".

You see, playing a fantasy roleplaying game is about writing a hero's journey.  All hero's journeys follow a path from the mediocre to the magnificent.  They grow.

To plan a campaign, an adventure, an encounter, follow the rule:  take it up a notch.

No one wants to play the standard encounter over and over -- that's what computers are for.  RPG is about experiencing and conquering something new.

My last campaign of 1 1/2 years was a success in many ways because every encounter was an expansion beyond what the previous was.  Ne…

T. S. Eliot

This is the way the world ends.
This is the way the world ends.
This is the way the world ends.
Not with a bang, but with a whimper.

So slowly thus is ending this chapter of my life here where I have called my home for a good 17 years.  My gaming parties are slowly becoming less frequent with more distractions.  My primary game is now online.  The house is becoming bare.

I guess I have lowered my standards for the rest of the year.  I'm not starting a 13th Age game or a Numenera game.  I'll run a couple of Numenera demos, try to get my Pathfinder rules extension into testing, and try to hold on to the Friday game with Vlad.  Most of my books and minis are packed now.  I spend my free time reading the books I received from kickstarters -- Ehrdrigohr and the Solomon Guild.  Both are good reads, well thought out, and different from the usual.

We'll be checking out the new area and looking at houses soon.  I plan to stop by the local comic book store and see if they have gaming t…

Yes, I AM A HERO

Yes, I am an immortalized hero!

Demoing Numenera

I GMed my first Numenera game last night as a demo at our FLGS.  Unfortunately, with the short bit of advertising I did in advance of it, we only got one other player in addition to my two daughters.  The recipe was simple, build characters and play the first adventure in the book.

I helped each of the players through understanding the rules, and helped them learn how to build a character.  Character creation always takes too long, especially when there aren't lots of copies o the material.  I only had a hard copy of the player's guide and the core book.  The core book, as a limited edition, doesn't leave my hands.

Two glaives and a jack formed the party.  My daughters tried to incorporate the PC hooks; the third player ignored them.  Oh well.  I could tell he was uncomfortable with two teenage girls playing.

We got underway.  I felt a bit leading as I set up the scenario.  The first monster attacked them on the path.  We barely got through that and the third player had to…

A Bard-barian named Cupcake

Another Adventure

So it looks like I get to undertake another new adventure.  Between now and early next year we will be moving to a new city.  This was not part of the master plan.  Already I am looking to see what friendly local gaming stores are around town and what gaming groups exist.  It is very sad to leave behind all the gamer friends I have made, but we have time for another short campaign or too, so I'm going to make the best of it.


Friday Shadowrun: Introducing Vlad

So I started my Friday Shadowrun game this week as a player.  Unfortunately I am still tuning my headset, and I had an echo that made it hard for me to talk normally.  Hopefully it is fixed now so there will be no problems in the future.

So Vlad is an elf in 2064.  He's a smooth operator with a flair for outrageous suits and ties.  It suits him.  In one of his earlier undertakings he got caught in an industrial accident that turned him mostly blue from head to toe.  Unfortunately, the same accident got him in bad with Ares and he has to switch to supporting runners instead of his old more legal means of making money.

Vlad drives a simple 4 door Ford sedan.  It is hard to notice the extras he's put on it.  He carries a pistol or two when the job calls for it, and always has a knife on him in case things go south.  Most deadly for Vlad is his mouth.  He can talk his way in or out of just about anything.
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Report from Vlad:

So I get a call while driving through the ground floo…

When did the Term "Role Playing Game" become so Murky?

I was reading this article over at Tag Sessions, and it hit a nerve, like when you have a sore tooth you didn't know about.  When I was a kid, there was D&D and that's all anyone I knew ever knew about.  It was a role playing game or an RPG, but no one cared.  It was D&D.

I didn't have D&D.  I couldn't afford the books, so I wrote my own on pages of looseleaf notebook paper.  No one played, so at first I played against myself, then I programmed the computer to GM for me.

In college I started running into other role playing games like Shadowrun and Battletech.  They weren't D&D and in many ways they weren't like D&D.    Beyond I heard of Rifts and Gurps and the list grows.

But somewhere in there, something different popped up... Baldur's Gate.  It was a video game where you could play D&D characters. Role-playing games had moved online, but like the GM I programmed on my Commodore 64, playing the character was gone.  Preprogrammed dia…

Tuesday Runelords

Another report from Ranier:

Our last day out was the hardest.  Lack of sleep and food wears on a person.  I don't remember it very well.

Digging through the second level we came across a woman who jumped us.  It was a fierce battle, but we fought back and won.  The prize of the day for me was the spellbook she had, though I didn't let on.We found Nualia.  I gave Alex the invisibility potion and he got us in.  She turned Sol into one of those Yeth Houds, but we killed her and he turned back.We found documents and such that gave us a lot more insight to the big evil plan.We found a treasure hoard including a massive bronze helmet.  We just have to get the thing out of here.There are some really old tombs down here, something to do with the guy with the glaive and the book marked with the seven point start.At last we found our way into a sealed room with some sort of barghest -- an extraplanar being.  Luckily we were able to pull together enough magic to kill it. Gathering our equ…