I Suck As A Blogger & Prep For Next Game

Yeah. I’m pretty terrible about actually commenting on this puppy. I’ve had blogs in the past and invariably forgot about them for entirely too long.

Anyway, looks like the GURPS: Monster Hunters game is temporarily delayed as the Friday night GM (currently running Aces & Eights which is an … interesting system if a little flawed and half-baked in some places), and it currently looks like The Verge is back on deck. Because of course it is. So I’m back to doing what I can to get into that mindset, albeit with an intent to (ideally) be a bit more sandbox. The first adventure will be a little more railroady than I’d like, but there’s some setup required and I’m likely going to warn everyone beforehand. Beyond that, though, I’m going to be making a conscious effort to not be my usual GM self as I’ve got that storyteller approach which, sadly, trends toward railroad plots.

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Off Camping Again!

Yeah. I’m taking next week off, starting on Sunday. Not going as far this time – still here in Oklahoma this time – but its for an entire week. Totally need to get my head cleared.

Back From Camping

And after Colorado, Oklahoma is so very flat and boring and dull.  The area I was in (Blue Mountain near Lake George) was so beautiful that I wanted to move there, despite knowing that one day of a proper winter would lead to me noping right out. That said, I drove through at least one town that felt like it was bleeding Hipster which was just too much.

Now, I just need to win the lottery so I can buy or build a summer home there … but that would require me to actually play to lottery so …

Mini Camping Trip Set

Went ahead and pulled the trigger on doing a mini-camping trip around Memorial Day this month. The auto-deploy tent that I’d ordered early last month completely vanished in-transit – tracking has it leave a facility in Colorado and POOF! It’s gone! So the sellers ended up refunding my money and I ordered a slightly different one from someone else. I figure I can use this to at least confirm that my new tent (which ideally, I should have by Monday) will work.

Amusingly (or perhaps irritatingly?), locally we’re doing our “Meat Meet” (wherein a bunch of dead animals are grilled) on that Saturday, but the campsite I’m heading to for that trip is only about 2 and a half hours away and I can’t check in until later in the day, so I’m likely going to at least show up for said Meat Meet.

Also in the process of actively trying to get back into the weight loss mindset. I’ve screwed around waaaaaay too much and I’m a crapton heavier than I want to be – at least 80 pounds heavier – so trying to get back to watching what I eat and cutting out unnecessary sugar. Walked into the office this a.m. which only further highlighted how out of shape I am.

And also trying to get my head right about running Traveller again in the foreseeable future but my brain is just super vapor locked which is yet another reason I need to go out into the woods and just reset my headspace…

Camping Trip Scheduled

Went ahead and scheduled some time off around the Independence Day weekend. I’m planning on driving up to Colorado – 9 hour drive; blech – and camping for a couple of nights out in the middle of nowhere. Sometimes, being completely alone for a couple of days is great for me; sometimes, I get lost in my own head and it isn’t that great. I’m kind of hoping this is the former because I really need to sort of “reset” some things. Very much looking forward to getting away from absolutely everything for a while…

GenCon Recap

So, as promised, here is my “recap” for the GenCon games I played:

Thursday:

  • Starfinder – Liked what I saw. Was basically what I expected with it being “Pathfinder in Space”, but there were some interesting adjustments like two different ACs (energy AC and physical or kinetic AC.) Didn’t realize (though I should have) that this game was organized play with 3 of 5 players having characters already, and they were definitely optimized. I played a bug cleric who traveled around with his larval son in a jar … which was weird but neat weird.
  • 13th AgeI really, REALLY liked this game. In fact, it is definitely my favorite d20 game thus far. Cool elements they include are Escalation Die (so as the fight progresses, it gets easier to hit for PCs … and does some bad guys as well), the mook mechanic (mooks have hit points but they go onto a collective pool so damage that drops a NPC rolls over into the pool; 10x NPCs with 10hp ea have a pool of 100. Doing 20hp dmg kills two mooks); some spells have recharge ability; etc. Favorite thing in this is the One Unique thing where you define the thing that makes your character unique in the world – for example, I was playing a dark elf but the adventure was very dwarf-centric, so I decided my One Unique Thing was that “Both of his biological parents are dwarves.” So yeah. Really, really liked this game.
  • Legend of the Five Rings – This was kind of a mess. Two GMs were out due to medical emergency (appendicitis for one who was supposed to be my GM, the other was her husband) so we started more than hour late. One player was being kind of a dick about these GM woes and became really passive-aggressive to the actual GM we had … even though he was 30 to 45 minutes late himself. Overall, it was interesting system that, in my opinion, is slightly too in love with itself and setting. Very roleplaying heavy with some major limitations- like playing roguely murder hobo types? Not for you. In fact, I think its TOO roleplaying heavy at times. And since I suck at Japanese pronunciation, that’d be really tough to get through, I think…

Friday:

  • Mongoose Traveller 2nd Edition – This was fantastic. GM was very engaging, group was fun, and dice were inconsistent, especially for pilot which made for a very enjoyable romp. Amusingly, an offhand remark by a player from beginning of adventure ended up saving most of our lives. Less worried about running this now though we didn’t really get space combat opportunity so I’m still not sure about that angle. Combat went by fast and easy.
  • The Expanse RPG Interesting mechanics. 3d6 with 1 being the “drama” die … you add them together vs a target number. If successful and two die are doubled (a pair of 5s, FREX) you gain “stunt points” equal to drama die number that must be spent immediately. Drama die also determines other stuff but less clear on specifics with that. No real hp. You’re just normal, injured, wounded, or unconscious/dying. This was obviously an intro adventure and I’m certainly curious about the coming “adventure arc” (to see what I can raid from it for my Verge game), but I’m not sure how likely I would be to play this for a long time.
  • Mutant City Blues – Gumshoe game involving superhuman cops. Very fun, though all of the players (myself included) had clearly watched too many police procedurals because we flew through the adventure, picking up on clues and guessing at stuff very, very quickly. In the end, we arrested our people and threw them in jail. Good times. I’m a big fan of the Gumshoe system – looking forward the Night’s Black Agents game we’re starting up next week in our face-to-face game – so this was a lot of fun.

Saturday:

  • D&D 5E – Had a blast in this ten hour game. Learned a bunch about 5E that I did not know including “half orc monks at 10th level are fun as hell”; “paladins critting can burn spell slots to power up their smites”; and “ten hours is a LONG time to play a single game … but nowhere near long enough to play out all of Red Hand of Doom.” Also, 5E has a much different feel than 3.5/Pathfinder. Overall, though, this was a lot of fun.
  • Cypher – This was a strange system to me but for the most part, I enjoyed it. The GM never rolls any dice and stats are pretty minimal, but the mechanics worked nicely and both the GM & the story were quite good. This was definitely NOT a tactical game, but rather a more narratively based one. I’d be very interested in giving this another try at some point but I’m not sure how well it’d work for a longer term campaign.

Sunday:

  • HarnMaster – Really liked this game. A lot easier than I expected it to be, while also being rather lethal. Very interested in seeing more of this. Uses d% with target being under skill level. Difference here was there were four effective rolls – 5s under skill roll (05 or 10 or 15, etc.) are critical success, rolls under skill are marginal success, rolls over are marginal failures. 5s over (95, 00, etc) are critical failures. These are contested – so marginal success on atk is blocked with marginal success on defense, beaten by crit success. Wounding reduces skill capability (minor dmg = -5%), etc. Very neat.

Back From GenCon

And, ugh … I am so tired right now. We ended up leaving Indy around 6 and arrived in OKC a little before 5a.m. As it turned out, I was the only one in the car who didn’t get in a quick nap – just couldn’t actually force myself to drift off like everyone else did. Came home and crashed for a few hours – three and a half, I think – which was not nearly enough. I had to do laundry for work tomorrow (ugh) as well as taking a buddy to the airport so he can fly home to Portland. I could probably get to sleep now, but I’m trying to hold it off until around 2000 or 2100 when its properly bed-time. But man, I am really fricking tired. Next time I go to GenCon, I’m getting the house until Monday a.m. so I can get a good night’s sleep before driving home.

This week, I’m intending to type up a big review of the games I played, so watch for that, I suppose. In the event anyone but spambots actually read this.

Thought that I was going to resume ConsOps this Saturday (the 10th), but looks like it’s actually going to be next week (17th). Whee…

Back from Vacation

Whee. Back and thoroughly sunburned. The tops of my feet were so badly burned – because I didn’t think to actually apply sunblock there since I’m generally a “shoes on all day” kind of guy – that they swelled up on day three and I had trouble standing and walking. Eventually, I started taking some anti-inflammatories – my mom had some prescription strength stuff that was sort of like ibuprofen (per Google) – and that helped tremendously.

Unfortunately, now I’m squarely in the ‘post-vacation crash’ phase where I try to get my head right for returning to work. And gaming. Rah.

Vacation

Taking a plane to Florida tomorrow where I’ll be visiting some family for the week so updates here are so unlikely that they’re improbable.