Posts tagged ‘dungeons and dragons’

D&D Night

Blaugust 2015 Day 21

No gaming last night or tonight, the multitasking experiment will resume tomorrow. Instead last night was my regular D&D (5th edition) night with Scopique DMing and four others from Twitter in the party, he’s posted the recap for last night’s session if you’re curious about our latest shenanigans.

Virtual D&D is nearly as much fun as the regular kind. We use Google Hangouts for group video and voice along with Fantasy Grounds as our virtual tabletop. Honestly the only thing I really miss about physically getting together is getting to roll actual dice. Not that real dice treat me any better that virtual ones do.

My character for our current campaign is a Gnome Monk name Elrryn Leafwind. I generally don’t play melee characters in RPGs, but I decided I wanted to mix things up. Which is funny since after the first few sessions I realized that I had picked the melee version of a Wizard. The first two levels were not super fun, Elrryn wasn’t all that useful in a fight except as auxiliary damage. By level three Monk’s get Ki points and some of its first signature abilities. As an example, in one of the first sessions after making level three deflect missiles let Elrryn catch a crossbow bolt shot at him by a Kobold and then throw it back killing his attacker. One of the most bad-ass moments I’ve ever had for a character in an RPG.

Tonight’s plan is for some Lord of the Rings: The Card Game with Wininoid over OCTGN, which is an online card game client.

GenCon 2015 Part 2

Blaugust 2015 Day 03

I spent the first half of Friday at GenCon in the Exhibit Haul Hall.

2015-07-31 10.37.18Harebrained Schemes was demoing a new game called Necropolis.  It’s a take on the Roguelike genre, which I’m usually not a fan of, with a really cool art style that reminded me a bit of Massive Chalice, which I really liked. I didn’t get very far the few times I ran through the demo, but it’s definitely something I’m going to keep an eye on despite the fact that I’m not totally sure it’s the kind of game I’ll enjoy. Not to mention my already ridiculous backlog of games to play.

2015-07-31 11.27.44The other video game I demoed was the new multiplayer for Handelabra’s Sentinels of the Multiverse: The Video Game. This is a really great adaptation of my favorite super hero card game. Sentinels the original card game has been criticized for being too fiddly. I can sympathize with that but don’t mind it myself. If that did bother you or your just interested in trying out the game without investing in the tabletop version, the video game adaptation is really excellently done.

The multiplayer session I tried out is still in beta but looks to be just as high quality as the single player game. Too be honest I wasn’t super enthused about it before my demo, but I’m pretty excited to play more multiplayer in the Steam beta and cross-platform on my tablet after it launches.

Besides video games, I demoed and purchased Apocalypse Chaos from Z-Man games. It’s like a puzzly smaller cousin to Space Hulk. I picked up a Kickstarter edition copy of a interesting looking tower defence game called The King’s Armory. And despite my preordering the most recent Firefly the Game expansion through my local shop in order to  keep from impulse buying it at the convention, Gale Force 9 had a gorgeous playmat version of the board for $40 that I just couldn’t pass up.

I only attended one panel the whole convention. The Writer’s Symposium track at GenCon included a panel on Interactive Fiction that Joe Dever was on that I couldn’t miss.

IMG_0303I also go the chance to meet up with Nos (in the center of the photo), one of the hosts of Kerbalcast. We hung out for forty-five minutes with another listener who was there and got to talk about the podcast, Kerbal Space Program, and board games. I’ve guest hosted on podcasts before, but this was the first time that I’ve met someone I listen to regularly in person.

After that I met up with Todd again and we did a D&D session of Harried in Hillsfar. This was my first ever role-playing experience at GenCon and my first in-person D&D session since college. I was a little nervous about it to be honest, but it went very well. I had a lot of fun, and my Dragonborn Sorcerer Kaar narrowly survived his ordeal.

Todd and I finished off the night playing Android Netrunner ( he won) and Apocalypse Chaos (we lost).

2015-07-31 23.53.49

One “small” section of the GenCon Play Hall

It was another early morning, late night for me but well worth it.

As always, it isn’t too late to join in and catch up. Well it is if it’s not still August 31st, but go check out the Blaugust Initiate Page anyway, there’s always next year.

Scattered Thoughts

The Adventure Co 2.0 met last night for its first real session. It went well, despite some technical hurdles with Roll20’s video and audio, plus most of us just being out of practice. Initial session’s are always awkward anyway (in my experience) because players don’t know each other’s characters well and usually aren’t into their own character’s head either. That will improve quickly as we get into the adventure. Regardless, it was a log fun doing some real role-playing again even if my poor Gnome Monk didn’t get to punch anything.

It’s rare that I get to be a proud Hoosier in geeky sense so I was pretty stoked to see that Indiana was number 9 on the list of states with the highest percentage of Star Trek fans.

On the board gaming front Handelabra just announced an October  16th release date for the Sentinels of the Multiverse: The Video Game. It’s a tablet app version of one of my favorite super hero card games. A common complaint about the card version is all of the book keeping you have to do. Sometimes, I like that as it slows down the pace of the game and can become more of a meditative exercise to keep all of the effects going on in mind. But other times, it would really be nice to just pick up a few heroes and go defeat Baron Blade, and it looks like Handelabra’s version will fit that niche perfectly.

Anyway, I’m off to relax and watch my copy of The Winter Soldier that arrived today.

D20s and Cards

Adventure Co.

Last night was supposed to be the initial session of Adventure Co. 2.0, but Scopique had a water heater emergency and had to cancel. Totally understandable, and I hope he gets it fixed quickly and cheaply, but I’m a homeowner myself and those two things rarely go together. Even without our Dungeon Master, the rest of us (Adventure Co veteran Tipa from West Karana and new comers GrilledCheese28, Oakstout, and Girl Grey) hung out for about half an hour and talked over what kinds of characters we were thinking of playing as well as played around with the tools in Roll20.net. My initial impulse to play another Wizard changed a bit after reading through the Player’s Handbook (PHB), and I’m now thinking of going with a Druid. I’m not totally committed to it yet but I also like the idea of playing a Forest Gnome. I expect to change my mind a few more times before next Thursday.

The 5th edition rules remind me quite a bit of 3.5 and earlier, but there’s also some Fate influence in the rules (or similar narrative driven system). There’s a chapter on personality and backgrounds which helps fill in character details beyond the normal height, weight, and alignment. You now decide on an Ideal that drives your character, a Bond that ties your character to a person or place or event, and a Flaw to make you character interesting. They’ve also added the mechanic of Inspiration, which is given out by the DM as a reward for playing into your character’s personality traits and can be used to gain advantage on rolls. It’s not quite the same but it immediately made me think of Aspects, Compels, and Fate Points.

Reading up on 5th edition and getting on Roll20 last night with the group had me excited to work towards running a Fate Core game. At least once I get my Adventure Co character figured out and we’re a few sessions in.

Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

Among the many board games in my backlog, The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, has been on there the longest. I actually bought it a few years ago before I really got back into board games because I saw it on the shelf of my Friendly Local Game Shop while browsing Warhammer 40K minis (which I like to look at but never buy) and role-playing game books and saw that it was designed for 1-2 players.

So now years later, I’ve attempted to get started with the game a few times, but the game is very difficult and I’ve found that I’m pretty awful at constructing decks. So in March I started reading through and playing decks based on Beorn’s Path. The Hall of Beorn is one of a half dozen blogs dedicated to the game and Beorn’s Path is a nice series of articles that introduces players to building decks that can be used to complete the quests in the base game as well as the first six adventure packs, The Shadows of Mirkwood Cycle. Like most things I ended up distracted and didn’t pick the series up with Part 5 until this evening when I finally managed to beat the second quest in the base game, Journey Along the Anduin, on my third try.

I’m not ready to review the game yet. I haven’t played it nearly enough and I’m still at the novice stages of being able to build decks and learning all of the available cards even out of the relatively small core set. My initial impressions though are that the game is very tough and unforgiving. Luck feels like a big factor to me, but I have the feeling from what I’ve read that feeling is more because of my beginner skill level and because of the game itself.

Different Kinds of Excitement

Since becoming a parent, I’ve had to say and do a lot of things that I never thought I would ever say or do. For instance tonight I had to explain to my five year old that it doesn’t matter if he only pooped a little bit in the tub, he still has to get out of it so I can drain it and clean it. Fun times.

Star Trek Online

On a more fun note Captain Smirk, the Community Manager for STO teased this today:

Calling all Captains, this will be a big week for #STO so keep your com channels open! So much cool stuff is coming…

I can only guess that means there will be a bunch of dev blogs released. Hopefully with substantial details to placate and/or inflame the playerbase.

And after checking the STO site, there is indeed a Starfleet Operations Report posted. Most of the sections are marked redacted for now and lead to a “Coming Soon” page, but I like the LCARS-ish format they’ve been using for these posts. I’m not sure that the Engineering Core report would be, maybe something more about Tier 6 ships? There’s another Intelligence Briefing about a Delta Quadrant species. Hopefully it will be an exciting week in the no-drama no-forum rage sense of the word.

Adventure Co.

I got my copy of the D&D Player’s Handbook today for 5th Edition. I had actually already started  on my character but I’m not sure now. My first impulse was to make a Human Wizard, which is the same character I ran in our first campaign. My character in our aborted second campaign was a Goliath Warden, but the quick start rules I was using last night were pretty bare. Flipping through the book today, I’m leaning towards rolling a Gnome instead but either keeping the Wizard class or maybe going with Sorcerer. I’ve always loved magic-using classes.

Day 25 of Blaugust

Back to the Virtual Table

D&D

Adventure Co. version 2 is going to start up soon™- okay I just took a quick break to find my original posts about our virtual D&D group’s adventures last year… and there aren’t any. So instead if you’re curious, Tipa at West Karana did some great writeups.

The short version is we had a small group playing D&D 4e using G+ Hangouts and Fantasy Grounds. It was a lot of fun. It did make me realize how rusty I was at doing actual role-playing. I hadn’t seriously done pen and paper gaming since high school, and the intervening decades of MMOs had really given me tunnel vision towards combat. I found myself feeling unsure anytime we were in a mostly interactive scene.

For this second round we’re going to use D&D 5e, Roll20, and we’ve got a few new people in the group. I’m pretty excited. I didn’t mind 4e at all, I’m pretty easy going about edition changes, but combats did seem to take a lot longer than I remembered. With the general talk about how streamlined 5e is, I’m hoping combats will go faster so we can get a little more done in each weekly session.

Fate

Between Adventure Co starting back up and seeing all of the role-playing going on at GenCon last week, I’m feeling motivated to start working on getting a group together online to play a game of Fate Core. Fate is very narrative and not crunchy. Characters, NPCs, and settings are all assembled from Aspects, Skills, and Stunts. There’s no gold pieces to track. Hit points are reduced to Stress and Consequences. My favorite part is that character and game creation is a group activity. It is a major shift in mindset from D&D, Pathfinder, or any of the other rulesets I’ve read, and I think it will be a lot of fun.

Day 23 of Blaugust