Thursday, September 13, 2018

Experiment in GMless roleplaying

Last night, I finally got to play a GMless game. Ever since I started Solo Role-playing, I've been particularly fascinated with this variation of "standard" role-playing.  To put it simply, it's a "group solo" style game, where multiple players come together and use an Oracle rather than a GM to tell a, for lack of a better term, emergent story. It's obviously a bit of an odd duck, but one that is pretty well documented and supported with the base Mythic game. Since I love both traditional roleplaying as well as Solo, this seemed to be an excellent method to combine the two. 

Plus, there's something to be said for an utterly zero-prep style of game. 

Well, I managed to rope in a long-time friend of mine, D. He's been an off and on gamer for years, both as a player and as a GM. He's read along some of my Solo AP's, so it wasn't a completely alien concept to him. He still wasn't sure that he "got" it, but was willing to humor me as we are both between games at the moment.  It ended up being a very fun game, even if it did lean a tad toward the cliche. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

MoMj: The Corruption Saga - Session 19

While giving time for the others to heal up, Eirik, who heals at a supernatural rate (players note: Ironborn Hero Path!), finds some cart tracks that left Kardan in the direction of Svenor and assumes those tracks belonged to the person who lived in the manor house, likely their cousin Kari. Eirik relays this information to the group, and they decide to split up. Deirik, Eirik, Ygvard, and Kiro will head for Svenor. Boldulf and Sergei will stealthily remain near Kardan to observe how Torvald and his troops respond to this incursion and the burnt manor house. Once Boldulf learns all he can, the plan is for him to use his keen tracking abilities to follow the others and meet them near Svenor.

Deirik, Eirik, Ygvard, and Kiro take off to the South, cleverly avoiding a few Shadow patrols along the way. It doesn't take long before Svenor is in sight. This is practically Deirik and Eirik's home town, as this town is located directly above the Cave of Mjarn, their true home. Memories, both bad and good, wash over them as they approach. The town has certainly changed though, and not for the better. The greatest change is the existence of a large, black obsidian Temple of Izrador right in the heart of the town. This temple confirms for the men that Torvald the Betrayer is likely here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Solo Module, Preamble

A new “thing” is going around the Solo Gaming community, the March Module Month or, the Solo-A-Module Month. Basically, a couple of us were all playing modules at the same time (I was playing through B2: Keep on the Borderlands), and suddenly it became a thing. Personally, I blame +Tarcisio Lucas. Anyway, despite time being somewhat tight right now (I won’t forget you, Terry!), it just sounds like too much fun for me to stay away.

So, here’s how I’m going to be handling this game. First off, the focus of this is to play the damn module and the characters. I’ve done something similar before, with my Alien Hunger play-through. But THAT module I knew backwards and forwards, so the focus was on the narrative and the characters actions, more so than on the module itself. This time, I’m going in cold. Secondly, I want to use this as an excuse to try a game system I have never actually played before--Basic Dungeons and Dragons. Specifically, the Mentzer edition of Basic and Expert (they are the ones I have, so don’t @ me, Moldvay/Cook fans).

Thirdly, I want to minimize the “other tools” I bring to this play through. Solo playing a module is a tricky thing. You either need a good sandbox (Like Alien Hunger for Vampire or X1 for D&D) or you need to do something else to make it work. Otherwise, you get stuck on a railroad and it really just comes down to binary “choose your own adventure” decisions (if you’re lucky) and skill checks. But, at the same time, my play through of B2 was a lot of fun, and used only the most basic of oracles. So, for now my plan is to just use the module, the D&D mechanics, and the
CRGE for my game.

Oh, one last thing. Unlike my Vampire playthroughs, I’m really going to try and minimize the narrative/creative writing aspects of this game. I also assume that there is going to be a LOT of combat (it is D&D, after all). Given that, I assume this will be more of a recap, rather than a beat-by-beat game report. Like, when I play Vampire, I am literally posting my rolls on the blog before I even think about what they mean or what might come next.

Ok, enough setup. What module am I going to do?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

MoMj; The Corruption Saga - Session 18

"YOU DID WHAT?!" Lord Krogan's voice resounds through the Shadow Temple as he reacts to the news Deirik relays that he has murdered his cousin Lianna, sister of Torvald the Betrayer.

Eirik, Ygvard, and Boldulf all stand back from the discussion; they're there to support and watch over Deirik, but are not involving themselves otherwise since it's his news to break.

Lord Krogan continues, "I'm sorry, should I have explicitly said not to attack Torvald's family in addition to telling you not to attack Torvald himself? Is that a clarification I should've made?"

Deirik begins to respond, "I just..."

Lord Krogan explodes once again "THAT WAS RHETORICAL!" He then brandishes his symbol of Izrador, "I CALL UPON THE MIGHT OF IZRADOR TO COW THIS BEING INTO SUBMISSION!"

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Heroes Wear Masks/Comic Book Adventures

Comic Book Adventures (CBA) has been on my radar for a bit now. For those who don't know, it's a solo system for playing comic book style superheroes. Which is exactly what I was looking for. However, it's an add on for a game called Heroes Wear Masks (HWM), which I was completely unfamiliar with. So, while I have owned CBA for a while now, it was just the other day that I finally bit the bullet and bought HWM.

Heroes Wear Masks is a Pathfinder-derived game, and is explicitly so. I think, to it's detriment. Not that d20 can't do superheroes (Mutants and Masterminds after all), but because the authors assume you not only are very familiar with Pathfinder, but have a copy of the rules open in front of you. They skip large chunks of key rules (combat, skill resolution, feats) by just pointing to Pathfinder. As such, it's difficult to call HWM a complete game, and exists instead more as someones house-rules.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

MoMj: The Corruption Saga - Session 17

With the snow finally having melted enough to allow travel, Deirik, Eirik, Ygvard, and Boldulf once again set their minds to making progress in achieving their goals. However, there is a setback. Deirik, with his skin being more pale, his canine teeth slightly extended, is concerned that there's something genuinely wrong with him. Ygvard runs some magical tests on him and it doesn't take him long to determine that Deirik is, at least partially, Fell. The Men know they can't hide something like this from Lord Krogan, so they take the matter to him.

Monday, February 26, 2018

A Simple Plan, Scene 5

A Simple Plan

Scene 5

Leah hadn’t known much. Oh, she was willing to talk about everything she did know, which was mainly all the dirt she had on McGuire Woods. She just didn’t know much that I needed. She was another cog in the machine that had played me. But, she had known the cog above her.

Apparently, she had mainly been working with Preston Thurges, one of the senior partners at the firm. If anyone knew what they were after at Vulcan, and for whom, it’s be the good Mr. Thurges.

So, it only makes sense that he had vanished that morning. I’m sure that my visit to Vulcan had nothing to do with the sudden “family emergency” that took him away from the office for the first time in five years.

But men like Thurges don’t just vanish like you and me. They buy plane tickets, rent hotels, make sure people know how to reach them. They leave a trail, and I just had to pick it up. So, I headed over to his house. Something else Leah had known. It’s not my business to know why a paralegal knew the address of a senior partner.

He lived up in Covington Heights; because of course he did.  The partners at my own firm dreamed of having a place up there, where men don’t buy “houses” but “estates.”  And creatures like me are grateful just to be allowed to drive through.

Found his place easily enough. A sprawling architectural monstrosity looming over a hill, looking down on New Canaan. Left the car near the five-car garage. I’d rather have left it on the street, but this place didn’t even have sidewalks, and any car left on the side of the road would attract attention.  Other than a few lights left on to give the impression someone was home, the place was empty. I headed to the back and found the key Leah had told me about, and the code she had given me silenced the beeping alarm.

I suppose law firms were more fun than I had been aware of.

Experiment in GMless roleplaying

Last night, I finally got to play a GMless game. Ever since I started Solo Role-playing, I've been particularly fascinated with this va...