What's your current game doing?

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Leoff
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Re: What's your current game doing?

Postby Leoff » Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:50 am

Session zero of our new game: using Reign, which the GM has been talking about for ages, and which 2 of us have known about for a long time. It's an interesting departure for us in several ways. First, we're using Reign. Second, we're starting with a real-world time and place -- Venice, circa Marco Polo, heading out on one of M.P.'s routes. We were talking about using Reign and the GM said it was a good system for starting in historical settings (and then taking a right-turn into fantasy at will) and I said, "Ooh, I've always wanted a fantastical exploration of Marco Polo land, it's some of my favourite GM-inspiration reading but I've never used it" and that just clicked.
Third, the group consists of a GM and two couples. The randomly-chosen backgrounds link two PCs -- the other couple's characters -- as old childhood friends long sundered, now reunited but not yet recognized. The mission is to escort the girl to an arranged marriage, which she isn't too keen on.
I think we're going to be doing a romantic-comedy action thriller here.

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Glenn
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Re: What's your current game doing?

Postby Glenn » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:42 am

One of my players has been out for a few weeks because of personal reasons. But the rest of the players really want to game. So i suggested a series of one shot prequel games.

The idea is that each one shot focuses on an important part of the PCs backstory. And everyone but the one PC is playing an NPC from their past.

None of my players, except one, want to spend any time writing more than a one sentence backstory. This is way to explore that in a way that everyone will remember.

But we've never done anything like this and its asking my players to improv. Who knows how well it will go but they are all on board and excited.

The first game is running a Dragonlance style wizard test where the PC has to make a choice about trying to deal with a probelm herself, taking the easy road and making a demon pact that will come up later in the present day.

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Glenn
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Re: What's your current game doing?

Postby Glenn » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:11 am

The prequel game went amazingly well. I'd say this is my best attempt at almost completely improvising scenarios on the spot.

This is also the first game I've ever ran where the players and I basically forgot about the dice and just role played. A three hour session with only 5 dice rolls and three of those were basically useless and forced in by me because i realized we weren't rolling on anything.

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John
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Re: What's your current game doing?

Postby John » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:30 am

You are now the story stick.

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Glenn
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Re: What's your current game doing?

Postby Glenn » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:06 am

This is also the first time i've had a group get tempted by the new shiny. Now everyone is excited about the prequel games and less excited about running in the present day.

I even had one player who never does an ounce of work outside the game (won't even read the players handbook) and he sent me two paragraphs for his prequel one shot.

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Azhrei Vep
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Re: What's your current game doing?

Postby Azhrei Vep » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:52 am

Hooookay. Lemme just crack my knuckles here and we'll get started...

So, it's been a while since I posted any of this self-indulgent tripe. So I've got plenty to add! Wrapped up another arc of Rhapsody of Blood, and started a Masks: A New Generation campaign. Teenage Superheroes! Featuring an actual honest-to-god Teenager! Yeah, one of my players is 17. I ... think he may be one of the more mature players. Definitely has the most manly voice, jeebus. This might just be Dan's secret lovechild...

The Setting: Vindication, a city fully encompassing an artificial Island in the lake where Chicago used to be. Where's Chicago? Gone. Near the end of WW2, a supervillain held it hostage, and didn't appeased or stopped due to distractions from the war. So he ... unmade it. A circular area encompassing Chicago, a significant amount of the ground under it, and the air above it were simply destroyed. Utterly. As in, destruction of matter and energy. That thing that physicists say is impossible. The following implosion caused some pretty horrific devastation too, let me tell ya.

... Basically, I don't like the default setting of Halcyon City, the "greatest city in the world!" which has all the hallmarks of Metropolis combined with Marvel New York. Blech. Too clean, too happy, too many heroes. Vindication is more like Bludhaven and 70's NYC had a baby and Detroit raised it. It suuuuuucks. The most active, skilled, dedicated, powerful and obviously heroic figure is also a former member of the American Nazi Party. ... I say former, because the group changed its name. He's still part of the current group. Openly.


Our Dramatis Personae:

Jackson "Crash" Taurus - The Bull: The guy who always plays a beefy tank made ... a beefy tank. SHOCKING! He's new, I'll let it slide ... for now. The first thing Jackson remembers is a year ago, when he as being injected with something by some organized criminals, followed immediately by a horrific car accident. Believes he was injected with mutant lizard DNA, which gave him near-instant regeneration, enhanced strength, and the ability to shift his muscle mass down to grossly gaunt levels or massive, disgustingly swollen levels, with wildly disproportionate increases in strength. He's actually been subjected to step one of a three-step process to turn him into a demon/human hybrid by one of the major crime families run by an Exiled Sidhe.

Luca "Voidwalker" Balotelli - The Delinquent: Son of an old Bronze-Age superhero from the last Hero Team Vindication had before now. His father was killed, allegedly by his rival Dr. Displacement, when Luca was just six, and the team killed him in retaliation, then broke up shortly after. Has reason to believe they killed the wrong man, which they all refuse to accept. He's a bit of an anti-authoritarian punk (as befits the delinquent), metal-head, graffiti artist, and total Mama's boy. For her part, she figured out he had gotten into heroing and doesn't approve, but accepts, that this is what he needs to do, just like his father. Unlike his father, it isn't because he's a big ball of barely-contained violence that needs to take it out on someone so it doesn't turn on his family. That'll happen when you're an artificially-created life-form meant to replace someone stolen by faeries and not intended to survive long-term ... but its creator was a bit of a perfectionist, so it survived into its thirties and proved capable of reproducing, something that shouldn't be possible. He's got the ability to make portals and nullify super powers.

Julia "Omega" Livingstone - The Nova: Born with powerful telepathic and telekinetic powers (imagine, if you will, a baby that could cry inside your brain, and pity her poor parents), she's, well ... got some self-control issues. Her parents are mildly afraid of her, only willing to take a stand on anything over the phone, she's lived her life basically free to do as she pleased, but thankfully so far what she's pleased has mostly been trying not to frighten her parents even worse. Even though she's basically Jean Grey and could break and fix their minds more or less at will.

Cera "Spectra" Williams - The Newborn: A biological android created by the genius Dr. Albert Williams, formerly known as the tech hero "Proton." She's just under 500 days old. In a manner of speaking. Truth is, every time she's seriously injured or spontaneously mutates a new power (an ongoing issue), the Doctor takes a backup of her mind and uploads it into a new body, then studies and (eventually) kills the last one. She's very eager to please, to learn everything about the normal world, to make friends, and prove herself a worthy hero. Since one of the lessons she was imprinted with at creation was "A hero should value the lives of all others over their own." she's a very ... self-sacrificing sort. Has unfortunately picked up the lesson "Never let Morals stand in the way of Justice" from Julia. Usually serves as the peacekeeper of the team. Or tries to. She has nanotech turbo-hacking and hard-light projection abilities.

These four were brought together (and in one case outright created) by Dr. Albert Williams, a genius inventor and ex-hero, who decided he could live longer and more usefully by focusing on his inventing and selling the patents to large corporations rather than fighting villains, as a way to get more useful technology out into the public without having to handle manufacturing or business stuff himself.

He brought the group together to both help clean up Vindication and serve as an inspiration to others. And to deflect attention away from Overman, the goddamn Neo-Nazi that is currently the city's most effective hero. He hates that guy. Probably because Albert is actually Albrecht Weisinger, a scientist and former head of the Superhuman Empowerment Research Division ... in Nazi Germany. As a reformed actual Nazi, he doesn't much care for these newfangled Neo-Nazi whippersnappers. Truth be told, his ultimate goal is twofold: "Make people better." and "Make better people." The team is him working toward the first, Cera is him working toward the second. He's a heartless sociopath who's gotten very good at pretending to be a caring and trustworthy person, especially with his "eccentric inventor" status to fall back on when he slips up. People just think he's a little kooky, like all geniuses!

Eh, that's all I feel like doing for now. I'll get into what's actually going on later.
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Glenn
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Re: What's your current game doing?

Postby Glenn » Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:17 am

One of my players died in my dnd 5e game. It came down to one last death save and a 50/50 chance of survival and he failed.

A small part of it was my fault because I threw a beefed up Sauhagin at them thinking they were level 5 (the are 4.) BUT they've gotten so used to just fighting without using any magical items/healing potions that they kinda forgot to do so. Once the wizard started using her wand and staff charges she almost took him on by herself.

They've all agreed that they want the threat of death to be real so this helped that along. But we were just starting to flesh out everyone's personality. Now we have to start over with one character.


This was the first game i'd ran where just won person died. Usually when one dies the others follow behind quickly.

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Devin Parker
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Re: What's your current game doing?

Postby Devin Parker » Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:39 am

I've finally been running what I feel like has always been my dream to run, ever since I first began roleplaying back in the late 70s/early 80s: a D&D campaign set in the World of Greyhawk, the first gameworld I ever played in. We're using 5th Edition, and I currently have three players (and likely to add another soon, if she can join us). Though we play via Discord, since we're all scattered along the West Coast, we meet once a week for roughly 3-4 hours per session. I always dreamed of having a regular gaming group and now, in my mid-40s, I finally do.

The PCs are in the capital city of a more provincial country (Loftwick, in the Yeomanry, for those of you familiar with Greyhawk); it's the Richfest, a week-long high summer holiday, so the city is packed with visitors from all over the country. In the first two days of Richfest, the PCs have:
  • Saved a dwarf brewer from an orc attack on the road to town
  • Helped the brewer to pick truffles from the forest so she could start brewing a new mushroom ale
  • Met strange monks from "the Land of Purity" from across the sea who seem kinda racist (the Scarlet Brotherhood)
  • Been offered a hallucinogenic drug from a local small-time fence
  • Gotten into (and won) a duel with the arrogant son of a powerful government figure
  • Discovered someone distributing hateful pamphlets warning about the dangers of "gully dwarves" (I decided that Dragonlanace's gully dwarves don't actually exist in my Greyhawk, but the image of them persists as an old slander employed by bigots to stoke hatred of dwarves)
  • Gotten into the middle of a feud between two rival wizards
...many of which are connected to my main plot.

I made a random table of encounters specifically for festival atmosphere - just 100 odd things I thought I could throw into the narrative to remind the players that a festival is going on. One of the things I threw in just as a goof was a halfling with a sandwich board wandering around advertising "The Strongest Halfling In The World." The players took a real interest in this and kept reminding each other that they needed to go see this. So finally they found it - a wrestling ring set up atop a hill in the middle of the halfling quarter of the city, and inside the ring was the most ripped, muscular halfling any of them had ever seen. Just nothing but muscle. The barker said that anyone who could wrestle him and pin him to the mat for three seconds would win the prize, a silver loving cup.

One of the PCs is a Stout Halfling, and he let himself be talked into challenging the wrestler. I mentioned that the muscular halfling was leaning against the ropes, calmly drinking from a wooden tankard as he waited. What I didn't tell them was that he was drinking a potion of hill giant strength. He got into the ring while the other PCs placed bets.

Our last session was just the wrestling match. We did it by the rules, and I rolled "in the open" (using a dice bot on Discord). One of the PCs worked the crowd, getting people to cheer for his friend; at one point in the match, he used his silver hip flask to reflect the sunlight into the wrestler's eyes and distract him. The match was pretty amazing. I wish I'd had Wayne's knowledge of wrestling moves so I could have described the blow-by-blow better, but I think we managed. And, to everyone's amazement, the PC managed to beat the Strongest Halfling in the World (thanks to that Halfling Luck which allows them to reroll a natural 1). The wrestler, stunned at his loss, was a good sport and carried the PC around the ring on his shoulders while the crowd cheered for him (except for those folks who had bet on the sure thing).

Later on, one of the PCs was inspecting the silver loving cup he'd won, and wanted to know if he could tell how much it might be worth. I had him make a couple of die rolls (since they don't have the Appraise skill in 5e) and he got a critical success. Since I hadn't really given it a whole lot of thought - never thinking he'd actually win - I made up some details on the spot and said it was worth about 20gp. A bit pricier than perhaps a carnival prize should have been, but I decided to run with it.

The PCs have an open invitation to have drinks with the wrestler in the halfling tavern, so after giving it some thought, I'm considering having the wrestler make an appeal to the PCs, meekly asking if he could have the cup back. It's the centerpiece of their act, and the prize draws a lot of people to their show; his cousin, the barker, is too proud to ever ask for it back, but without it they're strapped for cash... The wrestler is a good guy at heart (despite his cheating - I figure there has to be a story there), so the PCs may earn a favor from the Strongest Halfling in the World, should they want it...

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[red]
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Re: What's your current game doing?

Postby [red] » Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:16 am

Devin Parker wrote:The PCs have an open invitation to have drinks with the wrestler in the halfling tavern, so after giving it some thought, I'm considering having the wrestler make an appeal to the PCs, meekly asking if he could have the cup back. It's the centerpiece of their act, and the prize draws a lot of people to their show; his cousin, the barker, is too proud to ever ask for it back, but without it they're strapped for cash... The wrestler is a good guy at heart (despite his cheating - I figure there has to be a story there), so the PCs may earn a favor from the Strongest Halfling in the World, should they want it...


I love it when random tidbits lead to player interest lead to actual game hooks. Too many times, my players ask about something and my immediate reaction is "no, the plot is over HERE," when in reality the plot is whatever they are interested in....and whatever is over HERE can easily be connected to what is over THERE if I just sit back and think on it for a moment.

It sounds like you have some great skills and improve ability. Your game sounds great.
--- < :facepalm: > ---

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Ikoma
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Re: What's your current game doing?

Postby Ikoma » Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:51 am

[red] wrote:
Devin Parker wrote:The PCs have an open invitation to have drinks with the wrestler in the halfling tavern, so after giving it some thought, I'm considering having the wrestler make an appeal to the PCs, meekly asking if he could have the cup back. It's the centerpiece of their act, and the prize draws a lot of people to their show; his cousin, the barker, is too proud to ever ask for it back, but without it they're strapped for cash... The wrestler is a good guy at heart (despite his cheating - I figure there has to be a story there), so the PCs may earn a favor from the Strongest Halfling in the World, should they want it...


I love it when random tidbits lead to player interest lead to actual game hooks. Too many times, my players ask about something and my immediate reaction is "no, the plot is over HERE," when in reality the plot is whatever they are interested in....and whatever is over HERE can easily be connected to what is over THERE if I just sit back and think on it for a moment.

It sounds like you have some great skills and improve ability. Your game sounds great.


Oh, and it can be SOO frustrating to the players. I am fighting this in my current game. I'm a player. GM set up a great tense, end of the world situation. There are big, bad world-ending forces invading. We are part of the larger defenses hoping to save civilization. There are essentially three game ending conditions. If bad guys achieve Goal A or B, we lose. If we achieve Goal C, we win. Which is fun.

So we get word bad guys are moving to get a macguffin that will get them significantly closer to Goal A. We fail to stop them. Which is cool story. The party is all fired up and invested in repaying the bad guys for our 'temporary' setback and either recovering or destroying the macguffin. But the GM keeps hinting we should be pursuing our Goal C. I lay out how my character sees it for him, if the bad guys complete Goal A, they win! We HAVE to stop them. He agrees with me and then says, "but don't worry. Nothing will happen until you guys get there. You can pursue this other goal safely." And the tension just goes out of the party. I'm personally feeling a little railroaded. He presents us with all these 'options' of things to do but then stands there shaking his head 'no' while we tentatively point at the different choices until his eyes finally light up and he nods 'yes' when we point to the one he wants (metaphorically).

What makes it so frustrating is that he has clearly put a LOT of work into the story. The NPCs are cool. We've had some epic battles. He's telling us a cool story. He's just not letting us play in it.
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