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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Is it possible?

I wonder if it is possible to have the best of both worlds.  Can you have a game that feels like old-school D&D, with any of the new-school stuff I love.

Players want options and customization.  They want to make each character their own, but as a gamemaster I don't want things to get too crazy.  I don't want the character to be overly back-storied.  Both are issues I have with modern games versions of D&D.

By the gods, I want both.    

Friday, January 13, 2012

Now the Dilema!

So here is the dilema.  My Goblins & Gunslingers game has come to a point where the next installment is way unlike the last few installments.  It is not a straight up fantasy action movie, it is a locked room mystery.

I have been working on this and fretting for a while.  It is an important chapter.  Not like they all have not been, but this game is a delicate puzzle that my group and I have been piecing together for a while.  Now I want to shake it all up.

This nervousness is common, whenever I am going to run any game.  This is a bit more nerve racking though.  It is something that could easily be dead in the water right off the bat, a dead horse at the gate.

I guess all I can do is run it and see what happens.  I think I need to set a date, and push toward it full steam.  

Land of Fallen Idols

So I started my new sandbox game last Friday.  I was too excited to wait, I suppose.  The next night I ran again for the other half of my group.

The first group was the guys in my normal gaming group.  The second was the three remaining members, who were all ladies.  They were the least experienced, and not used to the type of gaming we were doing.

We usually play very story heavy, event based games.  Traditionally not the kind of game we were now playing.  I am using Lamentation of the Flame Princess, an old school throwback to original D&D (part of the Old School Revolution).

It is a great game system.  Very much like old D&D, but changed slightly to create more of a Conan feel.  It has a large focus on the uniqueness of the monsters and the supernatural.  No stock monster listings, magic items are rare and incredibly unique and dangerous to wield.  The dark is not your home, it is the monsters.  Not one class or character race has low-light or darkvision.  It is the game I have been looking for a long time.  It is very accesible with simple rules.  Actual roleplaying can not be boosted by skills or other rolls.  Creatures can be created quickly and are simple yet versatile.  Your level does not quickly eliminate options by making them too simple.  I love it.

The first session with the guys went very well.  They adapted quickly to the system.  They role played and explored and came up with a plan of action based on the random stuff they were given, just as much as they used the weapons and equipment they purchased.  Fun was had!

The second session was more of a straight up dungeon crawl.  The girls had never experienced that.  It was fun and a little aggravating adapting to that but new, for them and I.  One of the girls seemed a bit aggravated by the lack of "serious role playing." Which I can understand, that is what she plays for.  The other two were trying to adapt as quickly as possible.  One of them, as far as I know, was playing only their third system.  She played in my last attempt of a D&D flavored game that fell apart due to sudden imprisonments (in the real world) and in my story driven Goblins & Gunslingers game (using my custom system FAST).  Her ability to get into and play this was cool as hell.  The third and final girl played like a champ.  She was a fighter and made the right decisions for that choice.

At the end of the night, the first girl had died, and she seemed a bit aggravated by that.  The other two solved the issue at hand and survived only to be exiled to the Land of Fallen Idols.

I am looking forward to playing again, and hopefully joining the two groups up.  When that happens it is going to be exciting to see the different play styles mesh.

I have been planning for that eventuality, making maps and random charts galore.  I have made a new binder for it...  Which is kind of strange as I realize I am not sure if we are ever going to play this again.  Boy I hope we do.  It was kind of like a big stress reliever for me.

When I run my story based games, I have a lot of fun, but I am pushing just as hard for the resolution as the group is.  With LOFI, I am pushing the game forward but having no investments in what decisions the players make.  It is going where they take it.  It is like a weight has been lifted off my chest.  I am sighing just thinking about it.