Sunday, November 8, 2020

Currently Gaming Nov 2020

 Other than that bit of math yesterday, I haven't really posted here in a while. Figure I should say a word or two about what gaming I'm doing.

D&D: Played the first session this week in a friend's campaign of D&D. I'm playing a flighty gullible Halfling Warlock. 

For those who know D&D, my Warlock Patron is Archfey, and my background is Guild Artisan. Dimple Copperock was an apprentice to a Colton Smelt, a master smith who makes fey-killing magical cold-iron weapons. Titania offered me power in exchange for betraying my master and leaving his employ. 

The campaign world seems pretty cool, and the GM has a lot of good ideas... but for some reason really likes the idea of the skill challenges from D&D 4th and has ported them over to 5th. I hope they don't come up too often. He did one in the first session, and it was clunky. Maybe they'll get better as we get more practice with them, but it felt arbitrary and flavorless to me. Definitely the weak-point of an otherwise excellent first session. The rest of it was more than enough fun to justify letting the GM do his thing with his favorite mechanical concept. Who knows, maybe once we've got a few skill challenges under our belts I'll grow to like them.

As I'm now playing a Warlock, I am eagerly awaiting the imminent release of Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, a new D&D rulebook that has a bunch of cool Warlock stuff in it.

Torg: I really like my playgroup, and am having a lot of fun, but I'm also having a hard time wrapping my head around Torg some nights. Not just because the rules are sometimes weird, but because I don't always understand the setting real well. This is my first Torg campaign, and most of the rest of the group have played Torg for decades. So they all grok the setting inside out, and I feel like I'm constantly playing catch-up. The GM threw a really interesting "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" plot at us recently, and I had the darnedest time figuring out if my PC (a dinosaur-man who worships a nature goddess I don't really know much about) should honestly be upset about body-snatching plant-clones. I guess it's an intruding reality, and as a Storm Knight I should be generally against that, but I also kind of felt like "Law of the Jungle" suggests mind-whammy plant-monsters gotta eat, too.

More D&D: I have a big campaign we play marathon sessions of on long holiday weekends. Had to convert it all to Roll20 because with the Pandemic nobody wants to get together for Thanksgiving Dinner. It was a ton of work taking my graph-paper (and Dwarven Forge) dungeon online... but now that I've got the tools/campaign built, I'm almost certainly going to want to keep using them even when things feel safe to play at the same table. Roll20 is pretty great.

Amber: We're 5 sessions into the campaign, and having a lot of fun. Nearly every scene has taken place in Amber itself, which is kinda weird, and probably my fault. I encouraged the players to get invested in Amber the place so that the big plot would matter to them, and I set a lot of interesting schemes in motion within walking distance of the castle, so they're sticking nearby thus far. It's cool, but I'm hoping to dive into the improvisational poetry of a hellride soon, as that's always a lot of fun to GM.

Shadows of Brimstone: Ran a bunch of Trederra adventures during DiceFest Online. I don't tend to talk too much here about work, but we did some almost theatrical productions this time. Fancy 3D board, 4 cameras, cool stage lights, creepy life-size Trederran Legionnaire standing right behind me, and a fun custom scenario with Darkstone Mortar fire. It was a lot of work, but also a ton of fun.

Mansquito -- I mean, Night's Black Agents: In recent sessions, the PCs slew The Man In The Iron Mask and a Moroccan Djinn. We've taken about a month off for various scheduling conflicts, but will return next week. The PCs have successfully infiltrated the power structure of Graf Orlok (the monster from the silent film Nosferatu), but they betrayed his bride while hunting those other baddies I mentioned, so next session will be a painful reckoning unless the players come up with a really clever cover story for what went "wrong".

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