Friday, August 26, 2016

Discussion: Lethal Intent

The voice in my head keeps joking that tonight's session is rated 'L' for 'Lethal.' Which means that there is a large fight planned for tonight's session where, if the dice go poorly, it could end up with a PC down and dead. It's not something I generally like to start a series of adventures off with, but with the story around what is going on - something I would be remiss if I gave the players no warning about until later on - it's just going to happen.

Maybe it won't. The players could always choose to just ignore the hook and continue on their merry way. I just don't think they will.

With all that said, how do you handle situations in which you feel the chance of a PC death is high? Do you forewarn your players (I do, if you didn't catch on.) Do you expect them to figure it out? Do you just treat it like a normal session until things start to go pear shaped?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Preparing a LOT of NPCs

My L5R game is entering Winter Court and that means politics and NPCs. How many NPCs? Well, I'm averaging 10 named Samurai per Great Clan, with a few extra named characters for important Ronin, Minor Clans, Imperials, and some extra for the host clan. All in all I figure I'm going to have 80-90 named NPCs going in. That's a lot of NPCs. Fortunately, with a little forethought the prepwork is going real smooth. Today I want to talk about that.

Monday, August 22, 2016

"Wasted Points" vs. "Power Gaming"

In the gaming groups I've been a part of over the years, these two concepts have come up time and time again. They are almost always in opposition to each other too.  In the one camp you have players who sink points into abilities and attributes that will never matter to them or the character because they like it, want it, or think it adds interesting depth to the character. On the other hand you have people who want their character to do the things they want them to do, and don't put points into anything else. Looking at it from a pure mechanics point, you have someone who is wasting points and power, versus someone falling into the munchkin camp. Today I want to talk about that a little bit. Not to judge, but just to understand.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Discussion - What Genre Could You Play In Forever?

Everyone has a favorite genre. We all have favorite systems too. Sometimes we're lucky and those link up. Sometimes we're less so.

My question for you today is if you could have a 'perfect' system for your genre of choice appear, what genre would it be for? In other words, if given the choice to play one genre for the rest of your gaming career, what genre?

I find myself torn on the topic, but I think in the end I'd go with Space Opera. For one, it's an open enough genre with room for a lot of different games and styles of play. For another, it gives me the option to bring in things like giant robots, or even various power sets through psionics or other space opera mojo.

My close second is High Fantasy. There's a reason D&D and Pathfinder have sat at the top of the RPG genre for so long. Like Space Opera it has a lot of room for different types of games, and there's just something about Fantasy that keeps folks coming back.

So what about you? Also, feel free to not cop out like me and go for more specific or niche genres like Crime, Mecha, Military, and such. By the way, all 3 of those I'd totally be happy playing for the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

7th Sea: Core Resolution vs. Dramatic Sequence

On Monday we talked about three of the big things involved in GMing 7th Sea. Today I want to talk to the 'how' you handle those things at the table. I don't mean what you say and do, but the mechanics in place that lets you place conflict before the PCs and see how they resolve it. Today we'll be talking about the Core Resolution Mechanic, Dramatic Sequences, and how they differ. Shall we?

Monday, August 15, 2016

7th Sea 2nd Edition: GMing, Brute Squads, & Villains

One of the things I was most excited for at GenCon this year was 7th Sea. They had copies of the book there for sale, people running sessions of the game, and even several of the designers present to talk to. I must've stopped by the John Wick Presents booth at least 3 times a day just to check in who was there, ask questions, and talk about the game. It was a good time. Today, I want to take some of what I've learned and break it down here to help explain some parts of the game that seems to be causing confusion or discussion on threads. So let's get going shall we.

Friday, August 12, 2016

KickStarter: Reflections

I found out today from philgamer's twitter account that there is a 2 player RPG called Reflections in the works. In Reflections both players play Samurai about to meet for their duel to the death. You then reflect on your relationship with the character and how it played out, the key moments leading to this duel. As you reflect each player is trying to accomplish goals and deny goals to the opposition to get bonus dice. In the end, after you've recounted the story of te relationship you find out who is alive, and who is dead.

That summary makes it sound a little bland, but read the actual description on the KickStarter page. It sounds awesome. They also just crossed the Stretch Goal Line to get L5R and Blood and Honor creator, John Wick, to write a setting for the game.

This book is already funded. Get in on the action while Kickstarter prices are ere.