Keeping my options open #Bloodbowl #Shadowrun

I know it’s been a while since I posted. Sorry about that. Life has been crazy. Life reasons forced me to give up the Deadlands game. Which means that I am down to just the one role playing game: my Denver game which has changed. But that is fine, because I have options. 

I have resumed playing Bloodbowl. I played in a tournament. And have played a couple of games since then in an open league. It has been fun and a welcome diversion. It’s a different mix of players, which makes the game more fun. I have even broken out the paints and begin working on painting a different team. 

I also picked up the latest edition of the Shadowrun rules. Which is similar enough that it is still a good option. I have begun rereading and reading some of the novels. I have been piecing together a campaign in my head. Taking notes on what I want to do. I am not sure when I will run it or even who will play. But it is an interesting diversion for me now. 

So I am still watching my freak flag high. Living a geek life. Just with a different mix of diversions. 

Progressing slowly #DnD #StormKing’sThunder

thumb_img_9986_1024

Finally getting around to posting an update. What with the new job, lack of Internet access at said job, I have not had the time to do much writing. But I have been running the game for the boys. So here is where we are. The boys are almost out of the first portion of the adventure.

This has been a fun mix. The boys are having fun. I am enjoying running the pre-made adventure. I have to say it takes a little more work than I thought. There is a decent amount of work. The adventure itself is really good. With a decent variety of challenges.

Our last session saw the first casualty. The Bard died a horrid death at the pods of a lurking Black Pudding. Hopefully, the boys did learn a lesson about splitting the party.

We are doing our best to run every other week. Playing again this weekend. Which gives me something to look forward to.

On a side note, I finally received my last Xmas present: Volo’s Guide to Monsters. Which I have to say is one of the coolest books I have seen in quite a while. It is a very impressive addition to the 5E library. I am really excited to use some of the creatures in the book.

If all goes well I may even rejoin the Deadlands game that has been dormant so long on Monday night. In other words, my role playing life is still alive and well. I just haven’t been able to write about it. So do not fear the adventures continue!

A few random thoughts on gaming #Bloodbowl #DND #RPG

I am so looking forward to the end of the Holiday season and a resumption of a regular gaming schedule. I have some plans. I also have some things I am tinkering with. Bottom line is it is all cool.

Bloodbowl

I received my new Skaven team for Xmas. I have already gone out and done the primer and base coat on them while on the sprue. I have a plan for them. The Desert Rats. I will give them all Arabic names (maybe from the Arabian Nights.) I plan to paint them in all desert colors.

I know that the Skaven are not necessarily the strongest team. They lack the power of other teams. But I have played brute teams and it is not the way I want to play. I will be resigned to some early beatings while I try to accumulate experience. I think that is the smart way to play them. Even borrow a little from the Run’n’Gun offenses and worry less about stopping other teams and more about scoring as much as I can. Who knows how it will turn out but it should be fun.

D&D

The boys game resumes this coming weekend. I am looking forward to taking them to the next step in the challenge. I think that the next chapter in Storm King’s Thunder will provide them with a good mix of action and role playing.

My Denver game finally resumed a couple of weeks ago. Viper acquitted himself well. Sniping and was able to unleash the big play that made it possible to take down the enemy spell caster. We also leveled up so Viper will be able to do even more in that role of locating and taking down the spell casters. I am looking forward to our next session.

Role Playing

My brother was in town for the holidays. We were talking about a few different things role playing among them. He is talking about possibly moving to my state. Which I am really looking forward to the possibility of his joining my various role playing ventures.

We were also talking about some RPG related things like podcasts and videos. Enough that if things work out I might put together a game specifically for him. It would be a way of creating a structure for a story podcast. It would be a pulp type adventure with some twists. I have already begun thinking a little about how I would craft this campaign: what rules set and how to capture the pulp feel.

As you can see I am still thinking about gaming even during the Holiday hiatus. There are so many things gaming related in my life. I keep them going and enjoy them as much as I can.

Excitement leads to decisions #RPG #Games

Recently I had a friend mention the new edition of Bloodbowl. I took some time to read up on it. There are very few changes from the edition I last played. I am excited about this. I wish I could guarantee that I could get the new box set. I may get it eventually but recent events make it unlikely I will get it very soon.

Then today I had the chance to stop in at my FLGS. Ran into a friend who is the big Bloodbowl guy for the shop. Started talking about it. When we discussed the potential and attraction of new players it seemed likely that there might be enough people attracted to the game that a decent sized league might begin with the new year. Which sounds real cool. I told him to include me on the list of interested folks.

I really enjoy Blood Bowl. It is one of my favorite table top miniature games. It does not require a lot of miniatures. Can be played in a relatively short time. I also happen to be fairly good at it. THe idea of joining a league is pretty exciting to me.

Then reality hit me. Can I commit to a league while also running a game every 2 weeks, playing in one game every 4 weeks, and another game every 2 weeks? It is going to depend on the league. How often would I have to play? Because I do not want to commit to something that could result in my trying to fit in 4 events in the same week. That would be overwhelming. And not fair to the kids and wife as well.

I do not have to make decisions just yet. I have time. And who knows if the league will even come to fruition? Or even if it will have enough players to make it attractive? But it is something to ponder and keep aware of.

Having the right plan and numbers #DnD #RPG

One of the eternal questions in role playing is determining the proper size of a group. How many players can you have in a group? How many is too many, and conversely how many is too few? There are a couple of things to consider when coming up with an answer.

How many can the GM handle comfortably? That is the biggest issue to answer. This depends on the players of course. I have seen large groups that work because everyone is really into the game and focused. I have also seen small groups where players still had a hard time getting into the game. So it really comes down to the GM. What are they comfortable with? I personally am okay with the 4 to 5 player range. More than that and I begin to fret about getting everyone involved. Fewer than that and I have trouble gauging the combats. How dangerous should I make the combat?

What kind of game are you running? Is it a combat heavy, hack and slash, dungeon crawl kind of game? In that kind of game, the more players involved does not necessarily create problems so long as you manage the combat rounds efficiently. On the other hand, if you are emphasizing investigation and storytelling, a large group can really slow things down. It is much easier to run that type of game when you only have a few players.

How reliable is your group? Say you only have 2 to 4 players, and one gets sick, the game almost has to be put off. So the less reliable the group the more players you want. So if one person cannot make it there are still enough players to play.

All of these things also affect how you plan and run your game. With a small group, you almost have to design your game around the possibility that it could be interrupted. Or have a few options for side games when one person is gone. If it is a larger group the loss of one player is not as noticeable. Another point to consider in this is if you can play without a certain character. When you design the campaign and a set of encounters, can the group handle or even proceed without one character?

I personally try to plan my games so that they can handle the loss of one player. With the caveat being that if Jimmy is not well I will not run the game as I run the game for him. If necessary I will take control of the missing character. But I tend to run more encounter heavy games than narrative ones, so it is easier to absorb that loss.

Like I said, it is not an easy answer. There are a lot of things to think of when determining how may people to invite to your game. Just another thought to ponder on.

This town is clear! #Dnd #RPG #StormKingsThunder

Fortune and fate found a disparate group traveling on the High Road. By chance, they shared a common destination, the hunting post named Nightstone. Onward they went. A young Dragonborn, Donaar, the hope of his small village, outfitted with all the equipment a poor town could afford. The sage Squavite, abroad for the first time in search of new knowledge. The hardened Yisaan, an elf raised in mercenary camps with a rough view of the world. And the mysterious Netero, with his blue skin and hair, and quiet ways.

When they reached the town of Nightstone young Donaar and Squavite voiced their concerns that it should be so quiet and the drawbridge down and open to all. Yisaan and Netero, anxious to accomplish what they were here for chose not to acknowledge the others fears and walked into the village.

Only to discover a pair of large Worgs feasting on the scraps of a carcass in the square. The creatures charged. Yisaan ran for high ground, while Netero tried to stand his ground. A vicious bite from a Worg took Netero down. Donaar stepped up and valiantly fought the other to a stand still. While Squavite used his arcane powers to vanquish the last creature.

While Donaar tried to tend to Netero, Yisaan and Squavite began to explore the nearest building, a temple to Mielikki. In their exploration they came upon 2 goblins enjoying their time in the temple, looting all that was of value, and now making a racket with the church bell. Donaar was able to spy another pair of goblins making their way across the square, and shot one down with his crossbow.

Yisaan and Squavite were able to dispatch the 2 goblins in the temple, ending the racket of the church bell. Donaar moved Netero to the safety of the temple while the other goblin ran. And then retrieved the one he had wounded and brought him to the temple as well.

While exploring the temple and searching the goblins Yisaan and Squavite found numerous treasures that the goblins had looted. Yisaan, thinking that it was his by rights, pocketed one of the items. An argument ensued while the party caught their breath in the comparative safety of the temple building. However, the argument was cut short by the smell of smoke.

The goblins had surrounded the building and were hoping to smoke out the party with fire arrows. Yisaan, realizing that the only normal way out was guarded, chose to make his own exit by leaping through one of the church windows. Squavite attempted to follow, reaching the window ledge, only to knocked out when Donaar threw the captive goblin out the same window. Donaar eventually came out the same window.

With the rest of the party out of the Temple, Netero bided his time and waited for an opportunity to rush out and charge the goblins. Donaar provided that chance when he charged into the pack of goblins. Netero rushed from the church and took the goblins from behind. Not in time to prevent Donaar from being knocked to the ground, but before the goblins were able to rush the rest of the party.

With the felling of the last goblin, the party took stock. They had captured four of the horrid little creatures while killing ten others, as well as 2 Worgs. As they bandaged Donaar, a young woman came out of the building that was likely the town Inn. Giving her name of Kella, a recent arrival to the town. She described an attack by Cloud Giants, who took the fabled obsidian megalith that had given the town its name. She also said that she was expecting friends to arrive that day.

Continue reading “This town is clear! #Dnd #RPG #StormKingsThunder”

Prepping begins #DnD #RPG

I am finally getting back to my D&D game. I almost have to plan a break every year for the month of October due to all of the family events. So I took a break. I decided to take the opportunity to also re-boot the game.

The composition of the group has changed a lot since I got the Zendikar game started, and from before when I ran my home brew. I have decided that this is a good time to run something that might better fit the group. So I will be starting them from scratch with one of the pre-made adventures.

I have a couple of reasons for this. First, it will save me a little work in game prep. Second, by sticking to a more tried and true setting I should not have to work quite so hard to introduce elements to the game. Third and last, by having what amounts to a complete campaign set out for me I can offer a goal and end game, rather than just running a random monster of the week campaign. Those can be fun but get kind of boring for me.

I now have some prep work set out for me. I plan to run a Session Zero this coming weekend, followed by the first actual session the day after Thanksgiving. I have put together a cheat sheet for that. I will take the opportunity with that to follow my personal character creation flow, which is a little different from the standard one.

I prefer to have the players pick a background first, where did their character come from? Then roll ability scores. Followed by race and character classes. I think that knowing that background helps figure out a little about the character. And it helps get them all together.

I am looking forward to this. Running the game a little differently. Which is good for me and also for the players.

Calling upon the spirits #DnD #RPG

When the Heroes were beginning to settle into their new places in Nordheim Keep Viper was happy that space was reserved for a Sacred Grove. While he was not yet a full Shaman he knew that he could begin work on the space.

After his escape from the clutches of the Demons on the Abyss, he fell into the guise of the Hunter.  He would devote his energy to seeking out such creatures and destroying them. But the Snake is a patient hunter, waiting for its prey, setting traps.

Here in the depths of winter in the high mountains, Viper knew that there was little to be done within the sacred space. He made it a place of prayer. Constructed a worthy shrine. Made it a place of ceremony and worship.

Returning from their first foray against the invading Giants, Viper went to his shrine and began a ritual. But the spirit of the great Snake came to him. This ritual changed subtly and evolved. It became a summoning ritual, unlike any he had performed in some time. Waking up from his trance he felt that something had changed. Then he heard a soft hiss from above.

There on a bare tree branch was a creature he had not seen before. It was full of vibrant color, startling in this place and time. As he stared in wonder it uncoiled from the branch, unfurling colorful feather wings, and flew down to him. Without thinking he held out his arm, offering a perch as the creature came to a graceful landing, and wrapped itself around his arm, and peered at him.

“What manner of creature are you, to come to me in this sacred space and time?”

“I am a servant of the great Spirit. I come to serve you and guide you on your path. The Serpent has seen your actions and accepts this offering of land. I am to assist you as you improve it and grant more power to the Spirit.”

“What am I to call you?”

“You may call me Santanico.”

Viper accepted the gift of this new companion. The creature accompanied him as he worked on his potions and the land of the Grove. It accepted some gifts of magic that would make it safer in the battles to come. And they hunted in the snows and rocks, developing a sense of companionship and kinship.

Viper thanked the Spirit for this new companion. Truly a worthy successor to Fang, who now was enjoying and basking in the warmth of the great river to the south. It could easily serve as a second set of eyes and assist him in tracking as the hunts began again.

It is Thursday, and other thoughts #DnD #RPG #CriticalRole

Yay! It is Thursday, and I can stay up again tonight in order to stay up to date on the doings of Vox Machina. Few things inspire me to run games and really get back into the swing of role playing than watching a session of Critical Role. Luckily for me I have a session of Deadlands coming up, and then Pathfinder the following week. The inspiration should not go to waste.

One thing I have been inspired to do by Critical Role is to do a better job of keeping notes for my games. I love my electronic character sheet for my Pathfinder, it is an outstanding App. And the App for tracking things as a GM is equally handy. And yet, something is missing. Like using Dice app instead of actual dice. There is a visceral thrill to actually rolling the dice.

All of this has inspired me to make a few changes and test some things out. First, a minor cosmetic change. I like my little dice box, but one of the things  I purchased with my birthday money is a good dice tray. I think that I will go back to the dice bag, and use the tray for future sessions. No real reason for this other than pure cosmetics, I like the feel of the dice bag.

Second, I am planning to go back to a regular character sheet for my Pathfinder game. I will try it out for a session or two. It would be easy to revert to the iPad if I want to. One of the reasons is to also have note paper there, and a place to store things so I can also get better at taking notes.

Third and last, I plan to start using printed notes during the sessions I run. I can use the iPad for combats. But for regular session notes having a printed notes will be easier to manage. And again this should encourage me to keep better notes of what the players do, or have done.

Overall, most of this is purely cosmetic. But I think it will improve my own experience with the games. Get away from the passivity of the electronics. It remains to be seen if I will like it this way, but I look forward to trying it all out.

Deal with the Devil you know? #RPG #Deadlands

Meeting with DrH tomorrow <STOP> Trail of C brothers lost <STOP> SLC a marvel of engineering <STOP> Pursuit of package still top priority <STOP> Package reported up for auction by C brothers <STOP> Unable to report in for a time <STOP>

The trail of this package and the Chadwick gang has become very confused since we reached Salt Lake City. Our pursuit has been derailed by the authorities here. I attempted to bluff my way past the possession of the lightning rifles but was unable to.

Ms. Montgomery and I had picked up the trail of the Chadwick brothers in a bar in the less reputable part of town here. Just as we were about to get more details on the thieves and their operation our contacts were assassinated. I managed to wound one and kill another of the assassins before we fled the premises of the bar in order to avoid being seized by the authorities again.

Things became far more intriguing and difficult to understand when we met with Doctor Hellstromme. In that meeting he made it clear that our covers were completely blown, he knew exactly who we were. But that did not bother or concern him. Instead, he was focused on our knowledge of the package and the trail.

According to him, the package contains an extremely dangerous material. Material that could at a minimum change the balance of power on  our continent and at it’s worst place the fate of all living things in danger. This does fall in line with the dying words of our contact. He wishes us to continue our pursuit of the Chadwicks, to keep the pursuit somewhat quiet, and retrieve the package. His stated intention to then destroy the material within it.

We have agreed to do this. Receiving some fine materials from him, and supplies. In addition, he is sending one of his colleagues along to help when the material is retrieved. We have the use of many technological marvels to aid us in this pursuit.

I cannot help but wonder at the motives here. Will his colleague truly help us or is he just another of the mad scientists who helped create these dangerous items? Since the Chadwick brothers have reputedly put the package up for sale at an auction why doesn’t Hellstromme just purchase the item? Why hire Pinkerton agents whose loyalties would at least be questionable?

I will find this material. I will make sure that the Chadwick brothers are brought to justice for the many lives they have already taken. What I will do once the material is retrieved is a question I cannot answer at this time. I do not know if this material truly is what everyone says it is. And if it is, will Dr. Hellstromme truly destroy it? Or, if it is so powerful, should it not be placed in the hands of the government so they can end this war once and for all? At this time I have far more questions than I have answers. So the journey continues.