Saturday, February 13, 2010

Miniatures Renaissance

In the non-role-playing department it's been a good year already.

We are playing 40K on a regular basis which I have not done in years and it's motivating me to paint figures and finish armies acquired as far back as Rogue Trader or 2nd edition.

I played my first game of Battlefleet Gothic with my own miniatures - I have had the game since it came out but I only ever played a few games at cons or stores using other people's ships. Now mine are finally getting some action.

I also played my first game of Blood Bowl, another long-held-rarely-played classic. We did that on Super Bowl Sunday before the big game. Now that the kids are old enough to play some of these, it's a lot easier to get a game going.

Tomorrow we will play our first game of Song of Blades and Heroes which I have been following for over a year but have not had a chance to play. Now with 4 warbands built we are ready to do some fantasy skirmishing.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Kids Campaign Note

One note, A while back I tried 4th edition D&D out with my zero-experience kids and decided I didn't like the way it was going. I then tried a few sessions with Moldvay Basic D&D and I liked it much better. That has somewhat gone on hold with limited weekend times and a resurgent interest in Warhammer 40,000 in the house. We will be coming back to it in the near future as the party investigates the dungeon beneath the ruined wizard's tower in the coastal burg of Porttown.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

And the Winner is...

My 4 players and I got together and despite my initial efforts it eventually turned into a let's throw some books on the table and flip through them while we debate session. These have had a way of generating really wild results in the past but everyone gets a say, so what the heck.

Star Wars and M&M were discussed. One player was really interested in Saga.

Champions was discussed and one player was less than enthusiastic due to a bad GM in the past. I threw out Marvel and DC as potential options but Hero System remained a maybe.

Deadlands was a surprise dark horse and may come up again. I have it in original flavor, D20, GURPS, and Savage Worlds, so it has a lot of flavors.

The Deadlands discussion led to a Savage Worlds discussion which led to Necessary Evil...and that is our new campaign. I fell in love with Savage Worlds before it was even published and I've been on the email list since it started, even though I've run a grand total of one session of it ever. Now I get to run it with super heroes...

I can't wait.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New Beginnings

With the old group splintered and the old campaign dead I spent some time thinking about what to do next. One of the good things to come out of the split is that my "D&D only" players are gone, so I can actually consider running some of the other games I have been interested in. I talked to 2 players who had been in and out of the group and 2 of my core members and threw out some options:

  • Star Wars Saga edition - I had run 2 mini-campaigns of Star War d20 that were well-received, I have quite a few ideas that I would like to run, and the Saga rules are solid.
  • Supers - Either Champions or Mutants and Masterminds. I haven't run a supers game since the 90's but it had been the "next game" for about 4 years with the old group. Now I could finally run it.
  • Warhammer Fantasy RP 2nd edition - I play Warhammer, I love the background, and I love the 2nd edition RP rules. I wasn't burned out on fantasy but I didn't want to run D&D again when I had the chance to run something different.
So it was a diverse group of games but all of them had a ton of untapped potential. We scheduled the first get-together for 2/6 and I decided to go ahead and make it a thrash-out session since we had not gotten together in a while.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

End of a Campaign

I have been running games for a fairly set group of players since 2000. The core was 5 players (2 female, 3 male) and then 2 to 5 rotating players who came and went through different campaigns. It was a good run but like ll things it eventually had to come to an end.

The first campaign was my first 3rd edition game - set in Greyhawk pre-wars. We began with The Sunless Citadel, ran through a Dungeon update of the old AD&D Monastery adventure, and ended up going to Hommlett and working through Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil. It was great and we ran roughly 18 months with those until the party was wiped out on one of the bridges from the outer dungeon to the inner dungeon.

We decided to take a break from the mega-module with a side trip to Kalamar and a new set of low-level characters. That lasted for a few months until the group decided they wanted another crack at the temple.

We made up a new set of characters, some related to members of the first party, and headed out to Hommlett. Another long run with more progress made but it too eventually ended in a TPK.

After this we had played roughly 3 years of nothing but 3rd edition D&D and some of us wanted a break so we took a 6-month detour into Shadowrun which was a lot of fun.

At this point the group was ready to return to D&D but not the temple so we began a new campaign in the Scarred Lands. This began with the traditional 1st lvl party in a free started adventure and wound its way around to the City of Mithril and eventually into the Lost Tomb of Abysthor where we spent a great deal of time. While finally wrapping that up the group moseyed through Goodman's Temple of the Dragon Cult and Bloody Jack's Gold before climaxing with The Blackguard's Revenge and Iron Crypt of the Heretics which ended 2007 in an avoidable, disastrous TPK at about 12th lvl. This left a bad taste in some mouths and was probably the beginning of the end.

We took a 3 month side trip in early 2008 into the insanity that is Rifts until I came to my senses and suggested a new 3rd edition D&D game with most of the 3.5 books. This was heartily approved and we started in April of 2008.

The final campaign was set back in Kalamar and was going to use the classic Freeport Trilogy and the Savage Tide Adventure Path from Dungeon Magazine. This was mainly a reaction to the previous game where much of the action took place in one dungeon and one city - this time we would do some travelling. Things started well enough and the ending of the 3rd Freeport adventure provided a nice initial climax for the campaign as it was a near-TPK with party members dropping one by one as they desperately struggled to slay the big bad and only one member was still breathing at the end.

The Savage Tide part of the campaign really took off after that with long sea voyaging and island hopping and eventual arrival on the isle of dread. After one session on the island I called the game for the holidays at the end of 2009. Some of the group was not thrilled about this and some members ended up starting their own game by the time I started talking about starting things up again in January 2010. It wasn't handled well and spelled the permanent end of what had been a good group. It was a nice long run and I am glad to have been a part of it.