It’s been a little while hasn’t it!? There’s been travelling and holidays and wrestling with things that must be grappled into submission. I’m not here to talk about that though, I’m here to talk about all the games I’ve ran and played in since my last post. There’s quite a few, so let’s get started with this quick-fire round up:
The Ripper Folly
Picking up where Blood Price ended, the investigation into the Ripper copy-cat continues. From the morgue, the party narrowly avoids assassination attempts while setting up a trap of their own. With a one punch knockout, the fiend – a Formorian – was captured.
This was the second in a short series of The Dresden Files RPG ran by me. It’s been a while, but the thing that stands out for me about this session was the strength of the roleplaying by the players. It didn’t hurt that this session ended with use of the Sight, a ward-trap, and a one punch knock out.
Final Thoughts: Get to the next session of this as soon as possible. Things are starting to heat up.
The Incident at Heskia’s Fork
In the town of Heskia’s Fork, a crossroads between the Borderlands, Tar Valon, and Andor. Here, a group of locales are hired by representatives of both the White and Black Towers to secure an exotic object found in a new mine shaft in the nearby hills. The manage the task through cunning, stealth, and sword-play, but only narrowly escape a deadly shower of lightning.
This was my first attempt to run The Wheel of Time RPG released in 2001. I have to say, despite my inexperience with that style of d20 play, that I had a great time with it. My players seemed to dig their characters, despite a relative lack of experience with the setting of Rand-land. I want to hone my skills with this system and use actual locations from the setting the next go around.
The only things I felt need some tweaking are Combat Rules (I’ll simplify them a bit) and the Channeling system, which needs a few simple reworks to make it feel a bit more like The Wheel of Time. Otherwise, this a fantastic book for running games in that setting.
Final Thoughts: Going to run a campaign of this in 2016.
To Storm the Gates of Heaven
A hand-picked crew take an experimental aether ship on a special mission to seek the gateway to the realm of the God’s. Before leaving port, the crew encounters a strange elf and possible black magic. After embarking, they encounter more strange elves and the gateway to the gods. The ship’s doctor blows a hole in the gate, the captain orders them forward, and the entire crew save the pilot are converted into gods.
This was a session of Fate Core ran by John Alan Large, Red Dice Diaries (check out his channel here) using the Aether Sea World of Adventure for that system. I might comment more on the book later, but most of the group seemed to agree that the setting was a bit thin even for a one-shot and we all seemed to think John probably could have made something up on the spot that would have been more immersive (which is both a compliment to John’s talent as a GM and a statement on the thinness of the source material).
Also, the session was the first time I got to play with John as the GM. I enjoyed his style overall, but felt a bit disconnected from the story overall. My character was the ship’s doctor and, save taking matters into his own hands to attempt to destroy the gate, didn’t have many moments to shine. My character ultimately felt superfluous to the story.
Final Thoughts: I’d like to play with John again using a setting a bit more fleshed out than Aether Sea. As a player it pays to grill the GM about how “useful” a character concept will be to THAT story.
“Unnamed Session” – Lamentations of the Flame Princess by Fantastic Dimensions
A group of fugitives seek to break into Bedlam to free a comrade, but only manage to unleash chaos of their own upon the city of London. This session culminated in the death of the captive comrade and the young thief Finn in a fiery explosion at Bedlam instigated by the fallen priest Munson. The survivors managed to rescue one from the ruins – an inmate named Quinn, an elf of dubious heritage, ambiguous gender, and questionable sanity.
This was a session that I played in ran by Ian Christiansen (check out his channel here). This was an entertaining session to watch…which I spent way too much time doing when I should have been playing. Unfortunately, I had suggested to Ian that Quinn (my character) could be locked up with Ephraim (the captive the party was attempting to rescue). This would have necessitated the party actually LAUNCHING a rescue attempt promptly in order for me to get involved in the game – which I assumed would be the case. We all know what assuming makes ya don’t we?
After about 2 and a half hours of a four hour session I did finally get into the action. Quinn managed to lure the headman of Bedlam into the cell they shared with Ephraim on the premise that the ongoing attack outside was a rescue attempt. Quinn almost immediately attacked, finishing off the headman by tearing his tongue from his mouth with their teeth. Quinn took Ephraim to the headman’s office to find their things, met Finn, nearly got blown up and then (barely) was rescued by the surviving party members.
This session reaffirmed that communication is the key. I like to think the other players, if they had been properly briefed by Ian and myself, would not have left Quinn languishing on the sidelines for more than half the game. I also learned not to play it cute with introducing a new character to a group that is already underway – get in there, get playing.
I was also reminded not to make assumptions. I assumed the group would focus on the rescue. They didn’t. Ian had offered me a bit of a solo scene at the beginning, but I yet again assumed in thinking that was not necessary.
Final Thoughts: Fun session, looking forward to getting a full session of playing Quinn under my belt. Never assume – always communicate.
Chance Meeting at Bather & Cage
A group of fugitives, recently escaped from the clutches of the noble Fen Wu in the city of Zhao’sho seek aide in restoring one of their member to full health. Gathering at The Bather & Cage, they meet an strange alchemist. After gathering information and ingredients from a hag, the party retires to the alchemists abode – a delapitated shack the odd man had been squatting in. Deciding they need gold to assail the library of Fen Wu to gain the tome that could hold the key to reversing Ernst’s condition. This leads the group to seek out Slick Rick, a local ruff, and straight into an ambush by strange cockroach-men.
This was a game I played in, ran by Other Tim using the Fantastic Heroes & Witchery system (an OSR d20-style game). This was a fantastic session, kudos to Anthony, Alex, and David who played Ernst, Ashtok, and Jhra respectively. Big props as always to Other Tim – this is the second game I’ve played with him at the helm, he’s excellent. I also can’t speak highly enough of the system – it is flexible and broad, with only a few rules here and there that I felt off about: a great system.
Final Thoughts: Real solid start to an ongoing game. Can’t wait to be back in character with Albrecht, my alchemist. Digging the Fantastic Heroes & Witchery system.
Well, that’s it…I’ve managed to run and play a lot of games lately. I’ll have to keep that up, and I hope you’re all doing the same!