Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A bit of gaming and a bit of building...

Daily Blog Challenge post 23.

Running a little bit late tonight, so this will be posted after midnight, but that shouldn't be a problem. It's still November 23 somewhere, right? Plus, I have a pretty good excuse. We were actually gaming.

Tonight, one of the regulars in my crew, Dave, stepped behind the screen for his first attempt at GMing. He's a total natural. We were playing the newest edition of Gamma World, which is loosely based on the 4e D&D rules. They've simplified a lot, including character generation and resource tracking. There were 4 players. I ended up with a Hawkoid Cockroach name LeRoach McLame (cockroaches have a spitting attack, so I named him after the Ravens spitting full back). We also had an animated giant garbage heap, a doppleganger yeti who bashed people with a barbed-wire covered garbage can, and an electrokinetic swarm of tiny humanoids. Yeah....a little too gonzo for some, but we had a blast with it. Since everyone at the table was familiar with 4e, we were able to jump right in. As I mentioned earlier, Dave did a bang up job, finally getting to take out years of pent up aggression on two of his regular GMs!

I think we decided to go with either Hollow Earth Expedition (HEX) or Savage Worlds Rippers next. I'm planning on starting with HEX first, because I think I can come up with something good with a little less preparation. I feel like the heavy focus on roleplaying and cinematic action in HEX will take some of the players pretty far out of their comfort zone, which is a plus. I think these guys are all up for just about anything, and it will be interesting to see how they react to such a different type of game. For three people at the table, it's unlikely that they've played anything at all like this before. Very exciting.

In other exciting news, one of our other regulars, Allen, who is running the Masks of Nyarlathotep Call of Cthulhu campaign Dave and I are playing in, has offered to run a CoC one-off for this crew. Paul also expressed some interest in running a CoC adventure for the group, once he gets a hang on the system. I'm thinking the round robin GMing and game systems will make for a very healthy group dynamic and help cut back on burnout. We'll be able to try a lot of things with limited buy-in. Should be cool...

So...on to the actual content of the post. Continuing my thoughts/notes/etc related to world building, yesterday I promised some more details on the basic ideas I've presented for my fantasy campaign setting. This is a world, that I want to use for OSR-style sandbox game.

Anyway, something bad happened in this land some time ago. Something really bad. I haven't quite decided what it was, but it could have been a great war, a pandemic disease, some sort of environmental disaster or plague, some sort of curse by a vengeful deity, or, most likely, some combination of the above. It was long enough ago that people don't think or talk about it much any more, but it wiped out most of the human and demi-human populations. Civilization hasn't completely recovered, at least in the area known to the adventurers. Distributed across the land are small, isolated, self-sufficient cities, each with their own forms of government, religion, and commerce. People do travel between the lands and there may be some trading between cities, but it is still quite rare.In most cities, foreigners are not usually greeted with hostility, but they are seen as strange.

Littered across the land are remnants of the former civilization: abandoned cities and towers, decrepit crypts and dungeons, all possibly teaming with treasures (and new inhabitants). Rumors abound of the great treasures and magical and scientific advancements of the dead civilization, but most don't ever travel beyond the relative safety of home to explore further. Treasure seekers are rare, as many see the risk outweighing the potential reward.

In a future post, I'll get a bit more into the specifics of the starting point for the players, a town I've dubbed Mallatrova. I'm planning on starting with the LotFPWFRP rules and probably some of Raggi's low level adventures to populate the immediate surroundings of Mallatrova. I had this funny idea this evening, though. I'd really like to try running Labyrinth Lord at some point. I joked with my potential players that there would be a great ocean, and if an adventurer crossed that ocean, their armor class would magically flip from high to low and they would lose access to all their d6 based skills...

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