Sunday, 17 June 2012

Work Work Work

Gets in the way of everything. But hopefully means that sooner or later I can have a break. Next weekend I'm having the guys around so that we can play games. It might be Carcassonne, might be Munchkin, it might even be noisms' DMing his Yoon-Suin setting.

Something to look forward to after another busy week of work.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Couple O' Kickstarters

Two Kickstarters that have caught my eye in the last few weeks are Our Last Best Hope and No Security.

Our Last Best Hope has a really neat concept, and might possibly tie in to some of the ideas that I've been noodling around with in the background; players take the part of heroes trying to avert a terrible crisis or world-ending event, like in Sunshine or Deep Impact. There's no GM, and it sounds like some of the mechanics might be similar to those in Diaspora (with tokens which allow you to influence story direction). I'm intrigued to see what the game is like, and seeing as it is a potential one-shot game I just might be able to convince the regulars at games night to give it a go.

No Security is a set of resources for running horror games set during the Great Depression. I have never played a horror game before, but there is something very attractive to me about playing a game set in the 1920s. The $20 backing level, which includes a modern day "Great Recession" setting is also really intriguing. Obviously with a horror angle, players are "in the real world only not" unlike In A Wicked Age or Apocalypse World or LotFP; I am very interested in having a look at games which have "real people" in fantastical settings, unlike games I've played so far which explicitly have (to varying degrees) fantastical player characters, who have cyberarms or magic spells.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Games Night: LotFP/Isle of the Unknown

I've missed talking about our regular Lamentations of the Flame Princess game for a couple of weeks. Last time on the Isle of the Unknown, Patrick was DMing us through a dungeon underneath an old keep. We had killed some Cthulu-worshippers, some giant bats and avoided some traps along the way. All was well with the world, and I was enjoying playing my new cleric, Priam, servant of the powerful god Venn. Charley/Henry Shortbread, the specialist, had disappeared into the undergrowth, and Priam had just happened to walk along and find the party as they were on their way to the keep.

Patrick has a nice house rule when it comes to magic; as with many D&D type games, you have your spell slots, but you can also try to cast any spell appropriate to your level, so long as you roll for success. Success is determined according to the Apocalypse World success rules: 2d6 plus or minus any modifier, a 10+ gives you what you want (the successful spell), a 7-9 gives you success plus a roll on a "something bad happens" table and a 6 or less just gives you the roll on the "something bad happens" table.

The Bless cleric spell/prayer in LotFP, as understood by me, means that you get d6+level points to spend/declare for future rolls. So having points like that means I can spend points to attack, to evade, for WIS checks - or even, to try and get future spells using Patrick's magic house rule. So if I get a good Bless result early on, then I have points in reserve for the night. I just needed to make that first AW-style roll.

It worked last week. It didn't last night.

I roll a 9, so get my blessing, but immediately have to spend the points to get favour from Venn again in order to cast cure light wounds on myself. Why? Displeased with my constant requests, Venn placed a small dog in my abdomenal cavity. Yes, that's right: A SMALL DOG. Not warts or boils on my face, or a limp, or blindness. A SMALL DOG. Luckily I was able to perform a caesarean on myself and have enough HP to then invoke cure light wounds (using many of the bless points that I just got).

Phew. I was up on the deal I guess. The dog was out, I had more HP than I had had before, I had some bless points left, and a dog that (rolls for loyalty)... hates me.

Lesson learned: don't try to game your deity.

Despite having the highest wisdom in the group I failed four rolls in a row - which is improbable enough - but then for the first three rolls I rolled a 16 each time. A one in eight thousand chance.

The small dog, Priestly, was eaten by a giant moth, we had our first big toe-to-toe battle with some giant Amber Scarabs (was touch and go), escaped from a crazy trap, got suspicious about the Bandit/Cleric who put us up to the job in the first place and the younglings were shouting at each other so much at one point that I passed Patrick the encounter die and said "You may as well just roll."

I can't make it for a couple of weeks, so have asked Patrick if my character can try to slip out of the dungeon (so that he isn't killed in the background when the others do something incredibly reckless). We'll see what happens. I'm enjoying playing a cleric much more than playing a specialist, so am hoping that I'll be able to get him back into play at some point soon.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

In Which I Fail To Blog

Time pressure, work, maths not working, not making time, yadda yadda yadda.

  • The maths has come together for my ammo maths question (or at least partly), so I'll be typesetting that over the next few days and putting it up - along with some thoughts on why this is interesting in general.
  • noisms is really knocking it out of the park with his latest blog posts; two in particular have been really good. I really liked his thoughts on Hanafuda cards, and the discussion underneath really seems to have sparked something (in me and in other readers) thinking about using cards in play generally.
  • The other post was a bit of AP from the LotFP game that we are both involved with. My nephew and his friend joined us, and last week brought along another two friends. This has really added something to the game, and noisms makes some really interesting observations about differences in play styles.
As I noted in the comments there, I don't think that age is the biggest contribution to the difference so much as the profound difference in culture that exists. If I was my 18 year old self playing D&D with my nephew there would still be a profound difference, because we have lived through such different times - in fact, it feels right to call them different eras.

noisms does make some good points that there might be a broader question here connected with styles of DMing and what they might be used to as well; I can't really comment on that: I've only played under the GMing of noisms and Patrick and I know them both to be fair but lethal, so I know what to expect.

Anyway, more soon. I promise. (and you know what that leads to, right?)