[generic] What are we running and playing

Last night, I restarted my High Fantasy campaign. We only ever played two sessions. Since we added some new players, I converted the game to Fate Core. The adventure revolves around a mystery and an investigation. So far the protagonists have followed the clues that has led them to a man called Randal, who works for a nobleman who seems not to exist. This fictitious noble is eager to become the patron of a travelling circus, which a couple of our protagonists belong to. The protagonists deduce that Randal and his friends want to ground their fictitious noble in reality by having him seemingly sponsor the circus.

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First Age

D&D h@ck3r and Hopepunk
Staff member
Last night, I restarted my High Fantasy campaign. We only ever played two sessions. Since we added some new players, I converted the game to Fate Core. The adventure revolves around a mystery and an investigation. So far the protagonists have followed the clues that has led them to a man called Randal, who works for a nobleman who seems not to exist. This fictitious noble is eager to become the patron of a travelling circus, which a couple of our protagonists belong to. The protagonists deduce that Randal and his friends want to ground their fictitious noble in reality by having him seemingly sponsor the circus.

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Nice looking game you have there and Fate Core too, yummy! :)
 
I ran Quest for the first time yesterday, after seeing the recent hype/controversy about it on twitter... it's a nice little stripped down fantasy game where everything is always resolved on a flat d20 roll, with no modifiers anywhere, ever; everyone has 10 HP, unarmed combat inflicts 1 damage and armed combat inflicts 2 damage, unless it's a magical/legendary weapon, in which case it inflicts 3 damage. A 20 on your roll will usually inflict double damage or have some other spectacular effect if it's not a combat roll.

After rustling up some volunteer players who also wanted to try it out, we spent an hour making up characters using the very simple, almost free-form rules, which focus on your character's story: who are they, where do they come from, what do they believe in, etc. The only mechanical point in the system that differentiates character types and their dice rolls is the Role they fill, be it Fighter, Spy, Wizard or one of 5 others: this gives you 6 starting abilities unique to that Role, out of a list of around 20 for each Role, split across a number of paths.

I found world building (for which there is also a sheet, just like for PCs but with different prompts to fill in) works best when done hand-in-hand with the character creation, so we had a demon-horned Fighter who was a native of the continent that was in the process of being colonised by humans and cat people from the East. These were represented in the party by a licensed Sorcerer who specialised in illusions, and a Spy in the guise of a cleric of Asclepius; all three had been recruited by a shadowy agency which was attempting to shape the destiny of the continent by sending teams in to potential hotspots and making sure events worked out favourably for them.

I kicked off the story in media res with the PCs barricaded inside a barn in a mining camp way out beyond the fringes of the colonial push, surrounded by things outside, so the pressure was on to escape the immediate threat and find out what was going on. A dazed local ended up being less of a source of information and more of a sack of potatoes as they had to rescue him from the barn as well, which they did heroically by roping the chimney of an adjacent shack and zip-lining themselves across to it over a veritable sea of stone scorpions which had invaded the encampment. A mysterious figure of one of the indigent people was seen watching from a rise in the distance, while two other miners were loading up a wagon with precious ores and preparing to make a break for it.

Some of the other shenanigans that occurred included:
The Spy toe-punting a scorpion onto the head of the distant onlooker, causing the other scorpions to become limp and confused (a good example of how a 20, known as a Triumph, can change the story radically!)
The Fighter 'volunteering' to be the horse for their wagon ("But we don't have any horses... why is everyone looking at me? Oh... alright then") but having to strip down their armor to do so.
The Sorcerer taking a shift pulling the wagon with some illusory clones so it looked like three of them were doing it...

I had to cut things short, but this is definitely a system I would play again: it's fast, it's easy, the PCs get to do lots of cool stuff and all that effort in writing up the character & world backgrounds gives you a lot of material to work with. It maybe requires an experienced GM to really make it work, as the dice rolling system leaves you flying by the seat of your pants to concoct outcomes on the spot, but we all had a tremendously good time.
 
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Started my Tekumel game last night with Session Zero. Much deliberation was undertaken, first about which clan to choose and then about party makeup. The scenario was agreed as being that the clan had acquired title to a piece of land that lay unproductive and the PC's were being sent to bring it back into a productive state. Character generation was mostly down (thanks to a self calculating spreadsheet). I'll go over a few odd points this week to have everyone ready for next Tuesday evening.
 
Quick update:

Monday: Game prep night
Tuesday: Currently coming to the end of GenLab Alpha. What's next? Who knows...
Wednesday: Alternating between Symbaroum and a Fate Wuxia game starting tomorrow
Thursday: Just finishing two games by The Guvnor - Fate Ghost in the Shell and Qin. Going to make this a writing night
Friday: I never game on Fridays
Saturday: Blades in the Dark in the morning, sporadic Mage 20 in the evening.
Sunday: Star Trek Adventures is on hold due to camping season, so I'm running a drop-in-and-out game of Barbarians of Lemuria

93 games so far this year. Likelihood of burnout? High.
At 100 games (or, if all goes to plan, a week on Saturday) I'll run some percentages and see how it all balances out.
 

First Age

D&D h@ck3r and Hopepunk
Staff member
I managed to score a game of Atlantis The Second Age last night, run by the great Jerry D. Grayson himself. It was 3pm Pacific Time, so did the cross timezone thing for a game into the early hours of this morning.

I went for the Jinn animist with three modes of magic and got to create effects on the fly in-game, just as I'd always wanted to. The Atlantis game went down as smoothly and fun as expected, with Jerry an engaging and very capably GM. A couple of lovely fellow players, who I think were all West Coast. We used Discord for video, dice rolls and everything was Theatre of the Mind - worked very well, it is all you need.

It was recorded, so might end up on his YouTube channel, which you can find here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZN_EGJcwm3VrC8UMe-Mahg

There are some Mythic D6 actual plays up there and a review of Dragon 86!

Lockdown supercharged gaming.

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ltd

Rune Priest
Ran first scenario of a Delta Green campaign set in 1995, via Google hangouts. I used The Third Man Factor from issue 25 of The Unspeakable Oath, adapted for the earlier period in the DG timeline. Sent the investigators on a road trip through the flatlands of Nebraska and Iowa, pursued by a T-1000 style mi-go construct. A good introduction to the milieu, and also gave me the opportunity to practice my South African accent. Investigators survived, with some injuries and a few dents in their mental equilibrium. Players seemed happy and liked the DG system. Chalk it up as a success I think.
 
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So... gaming - intermittent games are all down for various reasons; and the Thursday mob, having bounced hard off of purely on line role-play via Zoom / Roll20 last autumn are reduced to socialising via Zoom and Jack Box or specific familiar titles via Tabletop Simulator on Steam.

Wednesday Mob via (formerly York Travelling Man) is still going strong via Discord (A/V and file shares, dice are taken on trust and we don't need fully gridded battle-maps in any of the games we play) - we had some silliness with Fantasy AGE, then a brief bit of Shadows of Esteren, currently trying out the revised Numenera and I'm thinking of running some Magic World when it's my turn to GM later this year.
 

First Age

D&D h@ck3r and Hopepunk
Staff member
Currently planning, but hope to run a game of Scheherazde: The One Thousand and One Nights RPG at The Owlbear and Wizards Staff in September. I've long wanted to get this whimsical delight to the table, and so now this is my chance. It's been an unrealised ambition to participate in Mathew's convention too, so a double win! I'm a little late in the day, so hope I get some sign ups (now have 2 of 4), but the game will happen at some point whatever.

Putting together a VTT to support the game. We have music and lights, props and the beginning of characters.

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My winning streak of D100 games continues* with a one-shot game at Burrito Con 5 my adventure The Isle of Death using Mythras. Despite my worry that I would trip over some of the more fiddly rulings, and the players wouldn't get the world that I had set up for the game, the rules ran smoothly and the players embraced the milieu and enjoyed playing the characters. On a personal level, Mythras now officially fills an RQ3 shaped hole (with more elegance) and I can have hours of fun homebrewing culturally rich settings and adventures using it :)

*A winning streak that includes games of River of Heaven, OpenQuest Savage North, my ongoing Skyraiders of the Floating Realms game and a one shot RuneQuest Glorantha game which is about to blossom into a campaign :)
 

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
The last week's been a bit sad as we've just finished the second mini-series of Liminal, run by @dr_mitch, and tonight we had an extended session to complete the first part of the Enemy Within, where somehow we managed to save Bogenhafen. I did better this time around than when it first came out. It's felt like a bunch of urchins who wouldn't be out of place in Oliver go wild in the city. Nicely run by @Jagusti.

Both games were blessed with great ensemble cast who are happy to share the spotlight with each other. I loved both the games; the Liminal engine works for me really well (but it's kind of Traveller in mechanic) whereas the WHFRP4e system slightly frustrates me (but the characters have me wanting to play more).]

@First Age's Coriolis is winding to a conclusion for this part of the campaign, and I'm starting to prepare for the second season of Curse of Strahd, where we get into the game proper. I've also got myself into Vaesen run by @dr_mitch later in the summer.

Good times.
 
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