Posts Tagged RPGs
4 years ago, I picked up the Mirrors book for World Of Darkness, a collection of alternative rules that let you run “outside the box” games in the WoD setting. That led to a one shot that centered around 7 characters reprsenting the 7 deadly sins being trapped in a mirror maze by a fae and forced to find their way out while also in a “last man standing” situation because the fae wanted to know which sin was the deadliest. Much fun was had and I decided to rework the idea into an ongoing campaign, wherein players would be allowed to bring in characters from any of the WoD arenas (except Mage, for reasons too long to get into here).
Over the next 4 years we managed to stay more or less in the same timeline, despite major changes to the players at the table, venue, and changes in the base of operations. This past Sunday I ran the last game. Of the “first season cast” I had 2 players still at my table, plus 4 more we had picked up along the way (Mirrors has always had a full table). When we started we were at Dice House, moved to the International Coffee House, and eventually wrapped up at the new home of one of my long term players. The first three “seasons” the characters were in Seattle, this last season we explored Las Vegas, then a post-apoc Mohave Desert.
My original story arc, involving pitting the players against a fae determined to bring about a neverending winter, a powerful Changeling determined to stop her, and the vampires who were caught in the crossfire was really completed at the end of the second season. Everything else has been about consequences of that explosive and emotional season finale. Last Sunday, things finished much like they began, with a bloody fight with some vampires after an escape from a manipulative fae. It seems befitting, but also confirms to me that I made the right decision to finally bring things to a close.
It’s time for new adventures. In January, I will finally commit myself fully to running Changeling, instead of just borrowing from it on a regular basis, and we will be turning back the clock to Victorian timess. Things should be interesting.
November has been a busy month, so here’s a brief overview of things since my last post:
We visited Comikaze, had a great time, spend too much money, and wrote a whole article about it for Topless Robot, which you can read here.
Speaking of Topless Robot articles, we also posted a gift guide for that RPG geek in your life. Or you. Whichever. Check that out here.
We attended the very geeky wedding of some friends of ours, which involved custom dice as keepsakes, fandom themed tables for the rehersal dinner (we were at the Doctor Who table), and a Portal themed wedding cake. We wrapped up the wedding weekend with a screening of Big Hero Six. Super fun and highly appropriate to the bride and groom.
As previously mentioned, we attended the Nerds Like Us screening of The Crow. Bai Ling did a Q&A at the event, which was much fun. There was a cosplay contest, which was also much fun. But the most important thing is our daughter LOVED the movie and is now going to read the original comic it was based on. Geek parent win on that one.
Thing I’m geeking out on this week: 90s era trade paperbacks.
Alright, if you’ve been paying attention, I’ve been geeking out on those since I started rebuilding my Transmetropolitan collection a few months back. But picking up The Crow TPB for the Boo reminded me how much good obscure stuff is out there some of you might not even remember or never got to experience the first time. So, I’m working on a list for you. I think I have a venue for it and I will drop the linkage on you when that’s posted. In the meantime, go pick up The Crow, some black eyeliner, and a copy of The Cure’s greatest hits. You can thank me later.
This Saturday we kicked off the 2014-2015 season of DGS’ Vampire Conclave. I ran the first session of Sunset Cove, which went really well. The first half of the game was mainly character generation and background, with a short role-playing session after, in which our characters all met up for the first time and explored a bit fo the city’s night life. 4 of my players are running characters that are new to the city, while one of them chose to start with trouble right out of the gate by playing the childer of the Seneshal. Lots of drama and player interaction ensued. I have a good feeling about our player mix.
Sunset Cove is my first attempt to run the new Blood & Smoke rules, which is basically the new edition of Vampire the Requiem. I am really enjoying the new rules so far. Many of the Disciplines have been rebalanced, and the character generation system is very similar to the points method we’ve been using out of the Mirrors book. There are also several other changes to the mechanics of the game that seem to be encouraging my players to think more about their characters life and unlife in a more dynamic way, with rewards for achieving goals, maintaining their masquerade, and the introduction of touchstones, which force a player to think about what actually keeps their character grounded in their humanity, rather than have it be another stat on their sheet. The book also had several exercises to use during character generation, to give the characters a richer background and explore how they all might be connected to one another. Most of them will be familiar to anyone who has done improv or taken a creative writing class, which makes sense given that the game is largely about telling a story and improving it out.
In other news, this is our first year of actually having TV shows we are trying to keep up with in real time, instead of just binge watching them after they’ve been cancelled. So far, Gotham has been off to a good start, Supernatural was kind of a snore fest, and Doctor Who makes me want to throw things at the television. We’ll see if Constantine or Hannibal prove to be a weekly treat or a disappointment. I have high hopes for Constantine, but am only cautiously optomistic about Hannibal given how uneven last season was.
You can check out David’s ode to 10 seasons of Supernatural over on Topless Robot here.
I have also been watching David play Shadow of Mordor. So far I think I made the right call of playing passenger, rather than picking up a second copy. The cut scenes and some of the NPCs have been entertaining, but the game play seems to be a mixed bag. My take away as an observer: The mechanics feel very Assassin’s Creed, which is kind of cool, but doesn’t feel very Lord of the Rings to me. A vast majority of the enemies are Orcs. Yes, I know it’s Lord of the Rings, but from an observer standpoint, it gets a little old after awhile. I would like to have seen more variety in bad guys. The main storyline seems really short, and the “open world” very tiny. As far as I can tell, there are only two main maps, with 4 “camps” of Orcs each. Fallout or Skyrim, this is not. So, I give it a “meh”, keeping in mind I’m just following along, not playing. David seems to be enjoying it alright.
Thing I am geeking out on this week:
A collection of loose pigments and nail wraps in the Borderlands color schemes and iconography. I am really loving this trend of geek-oriented brands headed by geek gals for geek gals. The orders ship on 10/14 (same day Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel drops) so you still have time to get your order in. I have plans for the Vault Hunter pigment already.