Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Recording, travel, and the Hollow Earth

It's really too late for me to be writing this post. I should be sleeping by since, since I'm due into the office in about 8 hours. My reason for being awake at 1:00 AM on a "school night"? My band, Abysme, was in the studio for our third day of tracking for our debut LP, Strange Rites. My bass parts were all done, but I wanted to be there with the guitarist while he did his overdubs, so I could verify all my parts were okay. We still need to do the vocals and mixing. No set day for release yet, either, but it is getting closer, hopefully by the Summer of 2011? Hopefully...

Thursday, I'll be heading to San Diego for the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting. If any of my readers know of any awesome gaming stores or used book stores in the downtown area, please let me know. I'll be there until Tuesday and I'll have some down time. Right now, I'm mostly in the market for old stuff, but if I found a store with a good selection of Savage Worlds or Hollow Earth Expedition books, I'd likely pick up a few things. If the store is only likely to carry newer stuff (d20, Pathfinder, 4e), I'm probably not that interested, right now.

To make sure there is at least something gaming related on here, I've been studying the rules section of the Hollow Earth Expedition rule book for an adventure that will start on January 18th, hopefully. Everything "makes sense", but I'm a little nervous, as I haven't actually played the game, outside of a 10 minute demo at Origins this past Summer. I usually like to get some time as a player before I sit down and try to run something, but I don't know anyone who runs HEX. We'll see how it goes. The players are all friends, and are all pretty forgiving of foibles, so it should be fine. It will be a new experience for a few of them, though, because they are more familiar with more "tactics-heavy" rules, like D&D 3 & 4. I'm hoping they can all get into the "mind" of the pre-generated characters I'm providing, because if they spend too much time worrying about what's on the character sheet, this might be a flop. The group isn't that heavily geared towards the actual role-playing aspects of the games we play, it seems. They do great with the exploration, puzzle solving, and combat, though. Role playing is definitely one of my limitations as a Game Master, too. I really need to get more practice at portraying the NPCs in a realistic manner. They aren't (all) just cannon fodder or hint/rumor delivery units. I'm hoping this game experience will bring all of us out of their shells, at least a little bit.

I'm going to use a published adventure for the seed. Since the game is so different from what I'm used to running, I'm having a hard time gauging how long it will take the players to complete the adventure. One thing that is great about the adventure is that it leaves a lot of threads open. When the players complete the primary task, there are still plenty of options. I'm trying not to over-plan, so I don't end up railroading them. I think the system is light enough that I can come up with something on the fly, if we need more content. I hope to keep it running for at least three or four sessions, assuming everyone is having fun and I can come up with enough threads to keep them busy.

Finally, I'm working on scheduling the next session for the Swords & Wizardry White Box game. All seven players seem pretty excited about it, so hopefully we'll be able to continue the game for a while. One nice thing about dealing with that many folks: if someone misses a session or drops out of the game, we still have more than enough people at the table to play. Dealing with that many personalities (and schedules) can be a real challenge, but I think it will work out in the end.

1 comment:

  1. The single best tip I can give for improving your roleplay as a GM is to steal liberally from every media you consume and the weird or wonderful people youve met. I worked for a gentleman who would make a perfect curmudgeonly wizard. Another thing thats hex specific - go watch Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow along with the original Indiana Jones and just listen to how people talk and act. They are the most common pulp style movies people might have seen - steal liberally. Especially from the Nazi's, as the game developer said, "everyone wins when you feed a Nazi to a dinosaur."

    oh and for San Diego gaming bit - - google is your friend. Too bad you werent closer to Oakland, as Endgame sounds like an amazing store