Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's about dang time

So it's been like a week and a half since the last D&D game and I keep forgetting to post something about it, so I'm going to now.

Our heroes had a somewhat...unconventional time, but fun nonetheless (I think). Father Dumas has moved them to a local inn known for catering to Adventurers, as he cannot afford to look after them as much any more. Darthinian and Robespierre met up with 2 new characters (whose names escape me at the moment, due to their character sheets being at home, and one of them not even being names yet...), a Rhulic cleric and his Ogrun barbarian bokur. They are out seeking their fortunes and trying to find and help out other Rhulic enclaves, and stopped off for the time being in Corvis.

Darthinian managed to convince the others to go in with him on a heist and try to steal a shipment of steamjack parts bound for one of the factories in the city. After much planning, it was decided that Darthinian (with this experience as a sailor) would try to jump down from one the bridges spanning the river, infiltrate the crew, and try and find out where the goods were stashed. The ogrun would then meet up with them on the dock, move onto the ship, and start unloading boxes of the parts into the back of a wagon being manned by the two dwarves (Robespierre and the cleric). In, out, easy money.

Well, the day started out badly. It was cold and drizzly, with a fog clinging to the river and really limiting visibility. Everyone waited in their appropriate spots, until Darthinian saw the ship coming through the fog. He grabbed his rope and made a lasso, throwing it off the bridge to grab the top of a mast and swing down into the rigging, but...well, he managed to catch the mast, but got his foot tangled in the rope. Realizing that as the ship was going to go under the bridge (and thereby drag him off rather ingloriously) he tried to about by grabbing his hatchet and cutting the rope, but between the slippery rain and his haste he couldn't get it, and he was dragged over the edge, falling down into the rigging and getting tangled up. As he tried to free himself he actually fell further and got more tangled, making enough noise in the process to attract the attention of the crew, who came to investigate. Thinking fast, he began sobbing and acting suicidal, and they bought that he was just a jumper who had botched his suicide attempt, taking him down to the deck. Feeling suspicious, the captain told him to just stay put and that he could disembark when they made port shortly. Darthinian was unable to convince the captain that he should huddle below deck for a few minutes to get out of the cold.

Meanwhile, on the docks, the ogrun was standing around trying to fit in and not look conspicuous - and doing a rather poor job of it. The authorities were alerted, and had been watching him for some time by the time the ship made berth and he began toward it. They intercepted him and told him that he should probably leave peaceably, and he told them to get out of his way. When they refused to comply he decided to try and grab one to intimidate them both. He grabbed him, but the guard, being a trained soldier and all, was able to push him away and brandish his halberd. The other guard lunged forward and impaled him in the side with his halberd, nearly disembowling him, but yet he survived due to his mighty ogrun constitution. He took the hint and backed away, meeting up with the others to lick their wounds and escape back to the inn.

It was all in all an unsuccessful venture, but considering it was 100% player created, run, and executed, I think it was a successful experiment. I'll probably put in a little more structure in the future, but if the players want to create their own adventure like this, I'm glad to know they can.

It's also worth noting that I've never seen as many failed rolls in a row as Jaime rolled for Darthinian. It was spectacular.

I am going to shoot for having another game on Saturday, January 30th from probably 3 to 7 or so. Jaime is a "mostly sure" confirmation, and hopefully Laurie, Robby, James, and KC are free. There will also hopefully be a guest appearance from Jason Tarpley,who will be in town for the weekend.

Resurgence Tournament

Well, Saturday was the Warmachine Resurgence Tournament for Brookhurst Hobbies, celebrating the release of the Warmachine Prime MKII rulebook.

The tournament was set up so that it was increasing in point size each game, the first game being a 35 point, the second 50 points, and the final round a massive 75 point game. I brought a list with Master Necrotech Mortenebra that followed her progression with her most trusted Necrotech and best Necrosurgeon as they set out to build a powerful army for Cryx from the armies of lesser nations. It was a really fun tournament, and all 3 games I won by caster assassination, scoring barely any control points. The combination of Mortenebra's Terminal Velocity spell with her Overrun spell and a selection of helljacks is just absolutely brutal. I think for the time being I'm going to retire her from play and try out other casters. For the next tournament I'll probably try to run Asphyxious or Terminus and see how I do with them.

Anyway, the first game I played against Khador with Vlad, the second against Cygnar with Darius, and the third against Cygnar again with Kraye. I beat them all and ended up trying for first place with a guy who played Retribution - we both had the exact same number of tournament points and the same strength of schedule. The TO had an extra Merc coin to give out (since there were no Merc players there) so we decided that first place would get the overall champoin coin while the other would get the merc coin, as well as their respective best in faction coins. We decided to settle it with a D6 roll, and I rolled a 5 and he rolled a 4. So I came out in first place, getting 2 coins for my work and having a great day to top it off.

As a side note, I think every tournament list I make from here on out is going to have an Ogrun Bokur in it, if for no other reason then to flip Eiryss the bird. The first and third games I played both had the elf, and many other players there had her. If other people want to cheese up their list with a 3 point bitch, I'm willing to put in my 3 point Ogrun Elf Insurance (TM) every time.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Story So Far

All right, so just to keep everyone on the same page, I'll try and fill in what's happened with the characters so far.

Darthinian Smelchmonger
: an Ordic-born sailor, traveller, swashbuckler, and general hooligan, formerly of the Ordic navy where he served as a scout in charting and exploring the various Scharde Islands and fighting the Cryxians they inevitably encountered. Class: Ranger. Played by Jamie Sweet.
Kerry Jackson: a native of the Cygnaran city of Corvis, where he was born into the privileged life of a well-to-do merchant family. He was well-trained as a merchant and was expected to continue the family trade, but he recently manifested the Gift of magic, and he opted to leave his family and not cause a stir by seeking a life of adventure for the time being, while he grapples with the implications of his new Gift. Class: Sorcerer. Played by Robby Spengler.
Robespierre Holderhek: A surly Rhulic man with a taste for adventure and a low tolerance for bullshit, Robespierre found he had an affinity for pistols in his homeland, and before long he found he could channel some magic through them. He told his family farewell and set out on a life of adventure to make a name for himself in the lands of mankind. Class: Gun Mage. Played by Laurie Frasier.
Grim Bloodscent: As good a hunter as ever came out of the Thornwood Forest, Grim Bloodscent has sought to emulate many of the Trollkin leaders of the United Kriels - he is following in the footsteps of Grim Angus (who he named himself after in homage) by seeking his fortune hunting the humans he finds so weak and distasteful, but he looks at Madrak Ironhide as the savior of the Trollkin race, as well as believing Hoarluk Doomshaper's rhetoric of the innate superiority of Troll blood over the dilluted stuff in other races' veins. He takes great delight in hunting down humans, the reward bounty being more of a consolation. Class: Ranger. Played by Chris Greenwood.

Darthinian, Kerry, and Robespierre hired themselves on as mercenary guards on a caravan from Point Bourne East to Corvis. On the way they were attacked by Swamp Gobbers in the Widower's Wood near Corvis, but fended off the attack with minimal loss of goods. Robespierre was wounded badly and incapacitated, but the rest of the party made it all right.

They arrived in Corvis and were dropped off at the Cathedral of Morrow, where the kindly Father Dumas took them in and tended to their wounds. He told them that if they were looking for more work, the Captain of the Guard Julian Helstrom was usually hiring someone for something. They went to meet him the next day and he told them of a bounty of a Bridge Troll he'd had reports had been attacking citizens in the northern part of the city. The party searched for the Troll in question and finally found it when it leaped out from under a bridge. The fight that ensued was mercifully short when Kerry Jackson got off a shot with his pistol right between the eyes of the beast and felled it. They cut off the head and brought it back for the bounty, much to Captain Helstrom's surprise.

The next day they went to the compound of the Fraternal Order of Wizardry, which turned them away from entering. As they wondered what to do next, they were corralled and ambushed by a number of thugs with short swords and bows. They fought valiantly, but it looked bad until Grim showed up and started putting axe to mouth on some of the bandits. The remaining bandits were fended off, and the wounded party retreated to the Cathedral to seek aid from Father Dumas.

As he tended to their wounds, Father Dumas told them of a strange occurrence where he'd heard reports from around the city of grave robbers, and sent the party to investigate. They arrived outside the city walls at the small hamlet and set up camp for the night, watching over the graveyard to see if they could see anything.


That's about what I remember as the major points so far. As more characters get added and more events take place, I'll update them here.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New system/rules

I'm posting a lot today. I guess it's because it's the first day and I have a lot to work out.

There are a few new rules I'd like to try and iron the kinks out of, as well as a particular problem Robby brought to my attention.

Resolve Tokens
These tokens represent the party's combined will and ability to complete tasks every day. They can be used in a number of ways, and are always considered a communal resource.
Resolve tokens always reset to full after a full 6-hour rest.
The party gains 5 Resolve tokens per member in the party at the start of each day.
Each token represents roughly a couple "man-hours" as it were, with more tokens not necessarily representing more time, but more people helping to accomplish the same tasks in less time. This allows many actions to be tried again if they are failed, like searching the same area again by just spending more time doing it.
1. A resolve token can be used to move 5 spaces. Moving from a space with a major road to another with a major road counts as half a space for this purpose, so characters can cover twice the distance by going along the main thoroughfares. This is just meant to represent that the characters can't go infinite distance every day, and travelling across town by itself can be tiring, before any adventuring is done at all.
2. A resolve token can be spent for the party to search the hex they're in for a particular person, place, or thing. This will be treated as a communal action, with a primary participant and everyone else helping him/her.
3. This one I'm less certain of, but I'm thinking about letting the resolve tokens be expended in combat by a character for something along the lines of adding +1 to a roll per token spent - essentially letting the party go all-out if they need to at the expense of being totally exhausted when they're done. I think I'll try it out in a couple of games before committing to it, but it's definitely an idea.

The Level Issue
Robby brought up a good point that I'm not entirely sure of how to deal with. If there is a revolving door of players every session, some are by nature going to be a higher level than others. This leads to a problem where you might have a party of some particularly good adventurers and some particularly weak adventurers. I might institute a thing where I auto-correct people of dramatically lower level up to some semblance of usefulness. I don't like doing this, but if the characters are supposedly going off and doing their own thing outside the confines of the party, there's some logic to it.

Since it (hopefully) won't come into play for a while, I don't intend to address the issue right now, but if anyone has any ideas about how to deal with this I'd appreciate the input.

Corvis City Map

Well, step 1 of creating this game is giving the players a map to visualize where they can go and what they can do. This will be represented in-game with an actual map that they get and write on, and so all the players can make edits to the map as they explore and learn more about the city.

The ladder-looking things are bridges.
The double-lines around the edge are city walls.
The dashed lines snaking around are major thoroughfares in the city.

Other stuff is labeled, I guess we'll see how this goes!

Inagural post

So this will (hopefully) be a log of the things I need to keep track of, mostly D&D-related. With any small amount of luck my players can keep up to date on upcoming sessions, past games they might have missed, and also a place to talk about changes they (or I) would like to see.

That being said, the first major change is going to be in the structure of the game itself. Rather than a traditional D&D game where players show up and are led by the nose through a session designed by by the DM, I am going to be taking more of a cue from the West Marches campaign, which was also adapted by Gabe at Penny Arcade. The game will allow players a more free-form environment to come and go if they can't make all the sessions, and each game will be a more player-driven, self-contained adventure. We'll see how it turns out, but I like the idea that for the first part of the game the players will be exploring the town of Corvis, complete with a World map they can explore and flesh out. Ideally I won't even use a screen, and basically the DM becomes just someone to react to the player decisions and let them have real control over what they explore, who they kill, and how much phat lewt they get.

We'll see how it turns out in the end.

Next session is scheduled for SATURDAY, JANUARY 16TH