Monday, 9 July 2012

I Live... Again...

Howdy All!
It's been a while since I posted last December so let's have a short recap of noteworthy events since then to the best of my recollection:

Nothing major other than visiting family and playing Star Wars: The Old Republic.

I finally got to attend Victoria's local gaming convention: GottaCon. I had a blast spending the majority of it playing RPG's. I got to play Pathfinder, FantasyCraft, Cthulhu Dark Ages, Savage Worlds, and my friends homebrew system Ul-Zaorith for the first time. I'm a veteran of 3.5 D&D so I found Pathfinder an excellent conversion, plus the multi-table/multi-system 'Midnight Madness' game was a hoot. Our party was entirely made up of lawful evil types who were working in concert with four other bands of heroes (the other tables) to save all of cosmos from destruction. My pre-gen character was Ratling Ranger whom was a crack shot with his bow.

FantasyCraft is another game based of the d20 system, but it just didn't seem to do it as well IMHO, but perhaps the GM just wasn't able to present it in a favourable light. An odd murder mystery that kinda turned weird/derailed. My pre-gen was very much like the protagonist from Assassin's Creed in appearance and abilities.

The Cthulhu Dark Ages game my friends and I played in used a simplified version of Chaosium's BRP percentile system that effectively got the job done; the GM pulled out all the stops in his presentation and theatrics, brilliantly using minis and a huge set of Heroscape tiles to depict the marshland our intrepid adventurers quested through. Even though the game ended in an accidental TPK (Total Party Kill for those uninitiated) by a single catastrophically poor choice by my companion Fraser, I'm pretty sure everyone had a terrific time playing and I think it was one of my highlights at GottaCon. I liked the idea that all 'classes' had access to some magic. My character was Halfling Thief who rode on the solders of Fraser's fighter Hans.

The Savage Worlds demo we attended gave us a good introduction to the game and although I wasn't really impressed, I'm still looking to pick up the system for other reasons (more on this later). Paladin with a flintlock gun I was.

Finally Ul-Zaorith was run by my friends Astra and Steve. First of I'll say that Astra is a professional writer and her creation of the world Ul-Zaorith and the many races that inhabit it is incredibly rich in design. Steve handled the mechanics and Astra provided narration, description, and background. The adventure was simple and fun, essentially us gaining access to a floating temple with the intention to raid it. I played a Tirivahni, a race with prehensile tails and a penchants for being magical tricksters, with the ability to assume a large ape form a la Dragon Ball. I didn't get to dive deep into the system, but it looked to be very crunchy and detailed based off of the shear amount of abilities and spells my character had (my character sheet was 3-4 pages long!); I'll wager I didn't even use over a sixth of what I had access to.

Also at GottaCon I picked up a copy of the zombie RPG All Flesh Must Be Eaten main rulebook revised edition from a vendor and a copy the CoC supplemental book Goatswood from the silent auction. All in all I look forward to GottaCon again, perhaps as a volunteer and/or GM.

My birthday was in February and as I gift to myself I purchased a new bike and have been riding it and loving it ever since. So much in fact I have finally received my first flat tire and must remember to fix it after this post!

The Missus's birthday followed my own, and that combined with our room-mate's had a three weekend stretch of birthday parties. Fun times were had. My Friday Dresden Files gaming group did me the honour of indulging me in running a game in All Flesh Must Be Eaten. The premise was simple as it was local: A Zombie Outbreak occurs on a BC Ferry. I had a fun time running it and I believe they mostly enjoyed it as well, although it was my first time running the Unisystem, which I found a little clunky at times but pretty good. I liked the zombie customisability.

Preparing for and attending Victoria Steam Expo III took up the majority of April. The missus and I volunteered this year, and myself and a few other volunteer's talked about running a Steampunk RPG at the Expo, possibly Airship Pirates as Captain Robert Brown and Kristina Erickson from Abney Park fame were attending. Kevin was more comfortable running something using Savage Worlds, so I started working on something that I could run in Airship Pirates if there was time and interest at the event. Again my Friday group took a break from Dresden Files and I ran the in-book adventure with a few modifications with pre-gen characters, and eventually a bunch of friends and volunteers assembled together at my place to playtest both games, which went well. Both plays allowed me the chance to finally see how the basic mechanics of Airship Pirates work, though we didn't get into many advanced mechanics like Airship Combat. Sadly I didn't have enough time at the Expo between volunteering to get to run it, but it has definitely got my interest vested to do so for next VSE along with perhaps a few other steampunk RPGs... 
The Expo was fantastic and everyone was really impressed with my costume: Dr. Corvus, Victorian Sawbones and Plague Empiric. Also as a reward for volunteering, Marion and I received tickets to the ballet to see Svengali. It was quite fun.

Steampunk fever still ran high after the Expo, further supporting our preparations and participation in Tweed Ride Victoria 2012. T'was a jolly good time with bikes, hats, tea, friends, and tweed. The early 20th century attitudes and mannerisms shifted my interests back to the Lovecraftian with a copy of Cthulhu by Gaslight I picked up from my FLGS and a won contest copy of a small ebook of weird fiction by a local acquaintance. I also discovered the really cool interactive fiction game Anchorhead. Also the Stalker RPG.

Interest in collecting and playing RPGs in full force this month. I'd known about Mouse Guard for some time, but only till my friend Fraser got the RPG boxed set and finally brought it over so we could play it after much convincing did I get to experience it. I was so impressed by the whole thing I went out and got my own copy of the corebook. Based off of the excellent comic series and using a simplified version of The Burning Wheel system, Mouse Guard is brilliant in both theme and mechanics. I've played in and run several games and must say I find the idea of using the same mechanics for resolving any kind conflict simple but clever. I highly recommend this game, it ranks up there with the FATE system in bringing the role back into roleplaying.
My RPG collection further grew with a few steampunk additions: My ordered copies Unhallowed Metropolis Revised system, Space 1889: Red Sands and Deadlands Reloaded Player's Guide & Marshal's Handbook for Savage Worlds arrived. And in between life, work, Mouse Guard, and everything else I've been reading through these books. I still need to get a copy of either the Explorer or Deluxe Savage Worlds corebook to fully grasp the mechanics of Deadlands and Red Sands, but I purchased it mostly because my interest in steampunk RPGs and the worlds themselves.

That leaves us to our current month, which I'll detail in another post as this one's gotten rather long. :)

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