Monday, January 23, 2012

About that Fireflyesque Game

I thought y'all might like to be interested in it.

The elevator pitch

Its , 200 years from now, with tech about that of Firefly but with a stable wormhole near Pluto for Transit. It'll take several years to cross the verse.

There are different cultures and colonies but no aliens except for the Transhuman Badguys "The Polity" who are still technically kind of human.

Themes come from Alien, Runaway, Outland, 2300AD, Firefly, Cowboy Bebop, Star Frontiers Blue Planet and maybe a smidgen of Even Horizon

The first adventure "Starfall on the Lost Planet" is based very loosely off an old Star Frontiers one.

That pretty much it. Now all that remains is a bit of editing on my backgrounds, putting together a soundtrack and some prep work.

Back in the Saddle or Cowboys in Space

It looks like my plans for an old school D&D game are once more thwarted, this time by placers with a surfeit of Skyrim.

I can't blame him really, between playing and modding all the time, burn out is a real possibility.

Instead the general consensus was "Something Sci-Fi" I offered Star Trek Away Team, Last Men on Earth, Travelling, $500 Hyperdrive and "something Fireflyesque"

The Firefly type setting won out by a decent margin with Post Apoc coming in second

For systems I offered D20 Modern, Cortex, Unisystem and GURPS.

My players being rather fond of GURPS chose that.

So I'll be running a GURPSA Fireflyeque game it seems. This will be a 1st for me so I am looking forward to it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA Protest Post

Though my posting has been lax of late, I and going to break with tradition and am joining the anti SOPA and PIPA protests.I've even altered my banner to join in.

If you need more information on why you should oppose this heinous legislation, go to Google or any of the other sites and click on the information links.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Thorny Issue of Minors at the Table

As a general rule I prefer to game with adults, preferably in their twenties or older. This is not a hard and fast rule though and as gamers are often scarce hereabouts, any good player can be welcome under the right circumstances. Also teaching games to youngsters can be rewarding and is a necessary part of our community work. However do the paranoid times in which we live there are some special guidelines for minors.

#1 The Group has to say OK

#2 Parental permission is a must

#2 All minors (this being 16-17) require an adult chaperon (this can include a game shop employee in the case of an in store demo game) of some kind till fully vetted by the group and the group is approved by the parents. This has to be done by the parents in person and is only done in exceptional cases.

#3 Minors under 16 are only allowed at in store or other structured and approved demo games in public places with an adult chaperon present .

#4 Any minor is allowed if the parent is present and a part of the gaming group and #1 and #2 criteria are met.

This protects my group from concerns on unwarranted accusations, eases parental concerns but still allows up to teach gaming to youngsters as needed.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

About the LDS Thing

I mentioned the other day that my gaming is predominately, 6 of 8 I think LDS (aka Mormon) .

This is largely an accident (my buddy brought in his friends from church and school) as I am not a member myself.

In case anyone is wondering what effect thats had on gaming. Well its been a pretty positive one.

The religion hasn't crept into play other than one the whole, the players trying to stick to the "good" as vs the neutral which is a benefit in my opinion.

Also many of the players had been on Missions (that the part where the guys looking like IBM sales reps go door to door to spread the Gospel) and had a good idea how to work and play with all kinds of people, it made the game go much smoother. That travel also made them bit more erudite than many Gamers.

Because of that and the fact that their parents and faith encourage education it makes for a very good group, especially for people I've only known a short time.

So in the event you guys (and ladies!) are reading, I appreciate y'all. You make gaming a lot more fun.

DM's and the Novelist Impulse or The Play is the Thing

Its my contention that many GM's have the impulse to be novelists , some are frustrated novelists, some dabble and may have this or that published and others are actual novelists (Kerr, Butcher, et all) .

This is not a bad thing unless it creeps too far into your game.

The fact is when it comes to gaming, what really matters is what goes on at the table, not your flavor text or game-fic. Unless you are an actual novelist, maybe.

Still there is a place for both of these and that place is making play better.

As an example, if I were to read 5 or 6 paragraphs about the nature of Neo-Hellenic magic and how spells worked in my Angel 2075 game, my players eyes would glaze over and everyone (that is the other six players) who is not playing the Neo-Hellenic_Goth-Witch would be bored silly.

This TMI habit dates to the early days of gaming where information was limited to a few books and we had no Internet and had to walk miles in the snow to get to school and fight off angry dogs (literally in my case).

Back than people couldn't just Google it and as such, those paragraphs had a lot more value.

Now however, its a lot simpler to let interested players do their own research and just get playing.

What i do is trim information dumps to a minimum and allow the illusion of flavor to creep in.

In the case of the Angel game it was by renaming a prosaic list of spells with cool Greek style names, saying one statement about it.

#1 you are part of the Hellenic Pagan revival, something happening in the real world. You mostly worship Hecate in Ancient Greek BTW but give respect to the other Gods as well.

Boom thats enough to get started and L, the player can research more or make stuff up or just ask if she wants.

After that I took her spell list and renamed it.

The basic list utility spells, common to many games

Radiant Armor
Lighting Bolt
Solar Blast
Speak With Dead
Dispel Known Spell

they became

Aegis of Glory
Hecate's Mirror
Borrowing the Thunder of Zeus
Tasting the Presence of Apollo
Plea to Persephone

viola, 1 paragraph and a few words and everybody gets the Greek thing without a lot of time investment.

This allows me to give other players more attention, concentrate on actual play and still give the illusion of immersion.

The same rule can be applied to the history of a land or any other facet of a game. More on that in a follow up post.

Monday, January 9, 2012

2011 Gaming Wrap

I played no D&D of any edition or any simulacrums in 2011.

I did play a GURPS campaign with some old school flavor that ended on an up note after about 12-15 sessions. The characters hit roughly name level and retired.

Now had I payed a bit more attention to my players burgeoning interest in the Shapers (a lost alien culture from Midrea) I probably could have continued but thats OK, we had a good time and I got slip in a few old school-isms like Rulings not Rules and Puzzles.

After that I started and managed a basic intro to Angel 2075. This is the 3rd or 4th game I've run in the Post-Apoc setting and all in all the few sessions we managed were fun and decently successful.

The group, minus a member now on his Mission (my group is predominately LDS) and another player seems to be down to a more reasonable 5. We may be gaining a player or two more but I can cope.

Who is running what however has not been decided as of yet however.

All in all, it was not a bad year for gaming . Here is hoping 2012 will be even better.

So 5th Edition

I'll check it out when its out and if its good I play and buy, if it isn't I won't.

OK, OK so you need more I get it.

Well, uh 5e so far its sounds like the very good development team has its hands full with trying to be everything to everybody. Hopefully the brass won't screw this up with too many contradictory requests.

I would caution anyone from Hasbro who chances by the blog, take the poor economy into account when you look at sales. Right now a good chunk of the buying demographic is has below average disposable income and a lot of competitors for what dollars they do have.