Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Dracular Dossier - Game Trailer

As I've posted before, I tend to see campaign pitches as movie trailers. Here's one for the Dracula Dossier, which is blowing through stretch goal after stretch goal on kickstarter.

In A World....

Monday, September 22, 2014

Dresden Accelerated Playtest Thoughts

So thanks to my pal Theron I was able to participate in the Dresden Files Accelerated Playtest. The first session was mostly world-building and character creation, but we did manage to quickly save a bunch of runaways from a Red Court Vampire. (One of the things we decided upon was that this game took place during the Red Court War, because Reds are such great monsters to smite.)

The players were all super-familiar with the books, though none of us had played the Original Flavor Dresden RPG, and we were all new to Fate Accelerated. We came up with an ex-changeling who'd Chosen to be human because the Fae are all jerks, the "Murphy of Houston" (though she's got True Faith), and since the magic system was important to test (and because WIZARD) I made a White Council Wizard. We had fun coming up with the shared backstory and some of the things we're going to face down the line. 

In terms of gameplay, we were all new to FAE, but it's pretty simple stuff, though the Dresden patch of it takes some getting used to. But that's why there's playtesting - considering the differences between the original drafts of the Dresden RPG and the awesome RPG that it ended up being, I'm sure that Dresden Accelerated is going to rock.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

#RPGaDay 31st - Favorite RPG Of All Time

Unfair question. Also, how is this different from the Favorite Game System? I mean, there's probably a "we can use nostalgia to ignore faults in the system" filter or "I didn't like the system but the setting was really cool" filter.

So, like a politician, I will instead answer a question other than the one asked.

Favorite RPG Campaign Of All Time (That I Ran): The campaign where I feel like I was really firing on all cylinders, in terms of plot, pacing, NPCs, foreshadowing, etc, was a Shadowrun game I ran. I'd always loved the setting but didn't care for the system. In fact, when I started the game, I had tried to hack Masterbook rules for the Shadowrun setting. Around the same time I was realizing that the Masterbook magic system was broken, I went to GenCon and actually played a round of Shadowrun. It really helped me figure out the things I was confused with and so, after the third or fourth adventure, we converted the characters to Shadowrun, though I did keep some Masterbook stuff. I added the Action Deck to Shadowrun and I let them keep some advantages they'd bought in MB in Shadowrun.

Long rambling story after the cut....

Saturday, August 30, 2014

#RPGaDay 30th - Rarest RPG Owned

Shrug. I dunno. I don't own any really rare games, all by themselves. I do have a complete set of (you guessed it) Castle Falkenstein and the Aeon/Trinity lines, which aren't rare individually, but as a set they're a little harder to assemble.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

#RPGaDay 29th - Most Memorable Encounter

A couple spring to mind. I can't decide.

Firstly, back in college, my roommate ran a AD&D campaign that was the Hommlet -> Temple of Elemental Evil -> Giants -> Drow -> Demonweb sequence, but he'd added a lot of side stuff to make it more interesting and more personal. Now, when we first started the campaign, we weren't sure if we'd get enough players, so the DM (Andy) asked me and our other roommate (Bob) to make two characters. I made NightOwl the Half-Elf Fighter/Thief and his brother, Woodstock the Druid. Bob made a wizard whose name I won't attempt to spell and a fighter who was going to be a 1st Ed bard someday and I can't pull his name out of the vaults. But then we got enough people (there were 9 players , I think), so Andy invented a side quest for Woodstock and the bard to go on to get rid of the spares, because we had plenty of PCs. Fast forward through the school year. While we've been fighting the Temple of Elemental Evil, we've also heard rumors about a Linear Guild for our group of PCs, a group called the Nine Hounds of Doom. There's a big battle going on and we discover that the Nine Hounds are on the other side of the hill. So we run over the hill and out of a cloud of smoke walk the Nine Hounds. Andy describes them one by one, and when he gets to the 8th he says "and there's Woodstock and [the Bard Guy]. See you in the fall." Talk about your season ending cliffhangers.

Second, not so much the encounter itself, but the reasons for it all. It was a Champions game set in a mixed Champions/Marvel/DC Universe. We were a bunch of super-heroes defending Houston from the Hellfire Club, Viper, and other assorted bad guys. So anyway, there was this big strangeness going on, with magic and technology surging and waning across the globe. We were investigating and starting to get some of the pieces when we get contacted by.... Doctor Victor Von Doom and Lex Luthor. They tell is they've figured it all out and to fix the problem, they need to stabilize the surges by collecting various magical and high-tech MacGuffins, which was in line with what we had discovered. We ask why they're telling us instead of the Justice League/Avengers/Fantastic Four/etc. They say, more or less "duh, we're Dr Doom and Lex Luthor, they're not going to listen to us.." So we call every super-hero team we know, to pass on the information, but, of course, they're busy fighting the symptoms of the surges, not the causes. So, reluctantly, we agree to help. "What's the first thing we need to get, evil overlords?" With a straight face, the GM tells us that we have to break into the Vatican, steal the Necronomicon, and give it to Doctor Frikkin' Doom.

So yeah, our ragtag group of super-heroes ended up attacking the Vatican, beating the crap out of the Swiss Guard's Super Team, ripping the vault open, and giving the Necronomicon to Doctor Doom.

All because none of the super teams bothered to check their darn voice mail.

Of course, we later all ended up working together with the assorted super-heroes. There were three or four sessions where a couple of us would play our characters and the rest of us would play other supers. Those fights were pretty fun too.

#RPGaDay 28th - Scariest Game You've Played

Another cheat answer.

Back in the day, when I was running Call of Cthulhu at cons, one of our group's younger siblings was an audio nerd. So he read some latin (possibly from that copy of the necronomicon you used to be able to find in bookstores) and added all sorts of effects to it, so it sounded really creepy.

THEN, we took the cassette tape (ask your parents about those if you don't know what they are), put it on constant loop play and put the boom box in the corner of the room, facing the wall, with the volume just low enough that it was hard to hear.

We kind of freaked out a couple of people when they realized they were hearing spooky stuff that they couldn't easily see the source too.

I think that was the same year that we used as CPR dummy as a quasi prop for a dead body.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

#RPGaDay 27th - Game You'd Like to See A New / Improved Edition Of...

It's kind of cheating to mention the games that I know are getting a new edition that I'm looking forward to reading. Specifically: Exalted, Scion and Trinity. I'm also looking forward to seeing what the Margaret Weis "Heroic Roleplaying" does now that it can slip the restrictions that Marvel put on the game. (Specifically the lack of character creation rules.)

But the game I'd like to see rise again is Castle Falkenstein. (I know, you're shocked since I mention it about every fifth post.) Steampunk has really blown up since then, and I think it'd be great to see the game come back now that the world is more ready to see it. Maybe do it with Fate, though I really did like the conceit that it uses cards because the in-world game designer shocked his high society friends by suggesting they use dice. (Dice are what common folk used for gambling. Proper ladies and gentlemen use cards.)