SGA 2003 Archive

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Seattle Gamers Assemble!

The following SGA games took place in 2003:


Hellboy[edit]

Game System
GURPS Lite
Pitch
Agents of the Bureau of Paranormal Reasearch and Defense investigate strange happenings in the Middle East
Game Master
Lukas Myhan
Players
David Drake, Laura, and Joe Jay
Characters
A changeling/sidhe prince (David), a monastic medium (Laura), and a composite being with immense knowledge and electromagnetic powers (Joe Jay
Date
October 27, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
David Drake: Together we investigated a nazi expedition to the Brass City, and there fought a crazed nazi-magi-octagenarian and his rebellious Ifrit, successfully foiling their attempts to unlock ancient double-evil.
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

D&D Pit Fight[edit]

Game System
D&D 3.5
Pitch
John E. lays down the smack with D&D 3.5 pit fighting. Bring your 12th level character (88,000 gp in equip, 40 character creation points per DMG) and a bag of snails, or pick up a pregen and grab your d20 and go mano a mano.
Game Master
Players
6
Characters
Date
Sept. 15, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

It Came From The Desert[edit]

Game System
Savage Worlds
Pitch
The 4-H club has taken it upon itself to ensure that America's children experience the blessed rugged heart of America: the Rockies. For a week, you've tromped around the mountains with a posse of kids, seeing the spring waterfalls and the mountain goats and the bright, bright mountain stars. Now, you're exhausted, and it's time to get home.
Home is Sweet Creek, Colorado, population 1043, which is, as the sign says, "the Pumpkin Capital of the Foothills." Sweet Creek is an All-American town. It's the home of test pilot Buck Drinkwalter and the boxer Harold "Wide Mouth" Mason, and the A-league Sweet Creek Sweets.
But alas, trouble struck on the road. The five of you -- the cheerleader, the nerd, the reporter, the social studies teacher, and the delinquent*--were riding in the teacher's Jeep when it blew out a tire. The spare was flat, and Mr. James in the school bus didn't seem to notice that you weren't behind him anymore. You had to walk fifteen miles to the next town to get a tow and a new tire, and that was this morning. What should have been a four-hour ride home has taken all day.
Now, it's after suppertime, getting close to dark, when you round the last hill before Sweet Creek and see....
Game Master
Johnzo
Players
Wilhelm, Alan B., Kate, and others.
Characters
Alan B. had the teacher. I believe Wil had a reporter.
Date
Monday, Sept. 15, 2003 in Cardhaus' sweaty back room.
Technical Notes
This was all miniatures on whiteboards. The bugs were purchased at Archie McPhee's. I had ants and spiders and honeybees and locusts.
Recaps
The bugs attacked while the flat was half-changed. There was a bridge involved. Weapons were improvised from a high-school chem lab. At one point, the bugs tore a rag top off a car and feasted on the soft, chewy innards.
Player Thoughts
Kate: I thought the "It Came From the Desert" came was five different flavors of fun, personally. I had a great time playing a 1950's juvenile delinquent rebel-without-a-cause type--James Dean's girlfriend, that was me--caught in a bad horror movie about giant bugs. There was some great chemistry between me and the nerd; in-party conflict is a lot of fun when it doesn't actually come to blows ("Roll for initiative, monkey-boy!")... one of my favorite games ever was just me--a dwarf that was essentially Lara Croft as a midget--and a snotty elvish mage where we spent the majority of the session bantering back and forth and cracking the DM up so bad he could barely run the adventure. (If Joe Zurla's still on this list, he may remember running that game about a year and a half ago...) Anyway, so, yeah, that game rawked. *grin*
Additional GM Thoughts


Champions[edit]

Game System
Champions
Pitch
Game Master
Lori
Players
Characters
Wilhelm, ?
Date
September 8, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts


Mythic Greece[edit]

Game System
FUDGE
Pitch
Game Master
Steve Schoenberger
Players
Andrew, Laura, Autumn, Hunter, Jack, and Kate
Characters
Date
September 8, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Steve: "Monty Python and the Golden Fleece"? That's a clever summary of how we got a bit silly.
The adventure, when we were on topic, stared with the third Olympic games of the Mythical era, sometime in the Bronze Age, founded by Heracles in honor of the gods, in the western Peloponnese.
Each of the player characters were contestants, competing in the Heraean Race (a race for young women, in honor of Hera, day 1), the Weight Throw (day 2), the Footrace (for men, though they didn't object when women horned into it, day 3), Wrestling (day 4), Boxing (day 5), and several unofficial events scattered through the official events -- chariot races, a riding horse race, archery competitions, a bard-oratory contest, and a musical competition (that, in spite of the silliness, somehow managed not to be called the Battle of the Bands).
In honor of winning some of the competitions, the characters won prizes like giant jugs of olive oil (for the wrestling), barrels of wine (won by the quick-drunk Centaur), a number of Latin slave girls, the services of a sculptor who would make a bronze bust of a winner, and a wagon load of assorted dyes. Of course everyone got the customary laurel wreathes as well.
An additional prize, offered by a very young prophetess to all of the participants in the games, was a reading of prophecies. For the player characters, the prophecies seemed similar (after careful interpretation of the meaning) -- "battle", "battle and glory", "battle and honor in some place you've never heard of", and "battle and glory in Phoenicia against vast hordes of enemies". And sure enough, the evening after the prophetess spoke her prophecies, retainers of a minor Phoenician king approached the characters and asked them if they could help him rid his city of a plague of grasshoppers. But not just ordinary grasshoppers -- giant, flesh eating grasshoppers.
The party agreed, and set out to the Phoenician king's island, stopping in Knossos Crete, running aground in eastern Crete, Rhodes, Cypress, and finally the king's island. The harbor was full of ships bringing food to the people, who were hiding from the grasshoppers behind the city walls, trying not to starve.
The party quickly concluded that the nasty bugs might not like a bit of cold weather, so Tekton the priest of Hephaestus turned his weather machine on the grasshoppers. They turned sluggish in the cold, and people charged out and smashed those in range of the chill. But hordes more were outside the machine's range, and the machine was out of cold. The party set out to seek a wagon load of the Ever Frozen Ice, from atop the mountain on the island.
After some planning and much silliness, the party had a plan to get past the hordes of grasshoppers to the mountain -- just charge through in a hurry until they reached the chilly weather on the mountain, and smash the grasshoppers if they tried to grab a bite of flesh. Hictaeon the Centaur was the first to be bitten, but he smashed many with his hooves and skewered many more with his spear. Geirahöd the exiled Valkyrie was unharmed because of her invincible skin, as she pulled a wagon (emptied of the assorted dyes). Astrila the huntress (and champion of chastity) turned herself into a giant eagle, and was also safe from harm. Tekton enclosed his horseless chariot with a safety cage. Polydactylos king of Gla had his thirty common warriors with him, and Melite the precocious Amazon princess had her dozen common Amazon warriors with her, and they fought well, taking minor injuries. Soon the heroes discovered that the bugs considered each other food if they were dead already, so they hacked them up and tossed dead ones around to distract them, and soon they had reached the safety of the cool mountain air.
On the mountain road, they reached a sign with a drawing of a skull on it. Polydactylos gave a rousing speech to encourage his common warriors past the sign to glory. Soon, Astrila -- still in bird form -- noticed a cave, surrounded by feathers and dung. Tekton, with his Eyes of Distance Vision device, noticed what he thought was Harpy scat. The party headed up the hill, prepared for a possible attack by Harpies.
Sure enough Harpies attacked, thinking they had surprised the heroes and their retainers. Being Harpies, they attacked the unfortunate retainers instead of the heroes. Polydactylos managed to distract three of them away from his warriors with a seductive smile, then reached for his spear when three they came into reach. Silly Harpies, you should know better than to think a studly king would be interested in you! The harpies managed to beat up several of the warriors of Gla pretty badly, but the Amazon warriors did better, taking only scratches. Most of the heroes got in some good bow-shots at the Harpies, wearing them down. Finally, Astrila knocked one out of the sky with her eagle talons, and Melite and the Amazons knocked down three more, which were quickly dispatched. That scared off the cowardly Harpies.
The party continued on up the mountain, and loaded the wagon with the Ever Frozen Ice. They returned down the mountain, and were again attacked by the Harpies, though the first volley of arrows drove them off that time.
Our heroes reached the grasshopper hordes and activated the great weather machine with the Ever Frozen Ice, making them sluggish as before. Some townspeople shivered behind the walls. Those with warm clothing streamed out of the city to smash the grasshoppers. The city was saved and all were honored as heroes.
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts
It was nice to finally get a chance to run this game. All have earned playtest credits, even if the credits never get farther than the next time I print it out for a game session.
I made no strong attempt at play balance -- the heroes had both the grasshoppers and the Harpies outclassed -- but there were some challenges. The party succeeded easily at thinking up cold as the way to make the grasshopper horde vulnerable, thinking to bring cold weather clothing to the mountain, bringing a wagon for the ice, distracting the grasshoppers with their own dead, and defeating the Harpies without losing any common warriors. They missed the idea of telling the people in the city to ready themselves for the cold, and while they didn't think about how they'd be safe from them in the mountain cold they did hurry through it. Since none of the common warriors died, there was no need to protect the corpse from being devoured or defiled by the Harpies. I forgot that the Harpies would presume that the wagon load ice was a treasure worth spoiling. In our rush, I also forgot that the story was supposed to include camping out on the mountain side.
I found the Olympics introduction in a 1988 gaming book titled Mythic Greece, wrote up the carnivorous grasshopper adventure in advance, and improvised the kind of lame sea voyage part on the spot. The weird Olympic prizes were also improvisations. I hope it was all fun for everyone, and not just for the silly

bits.

Goblin Smackdown[edit]

Game System
Donjon
Pitch
Anvilwerks' "make it up as you go" paen to old skool dungeon crawling.
Game Master
Wilhelm
Players
David, Lukas, Steve Schoenberger, Frank, Jen, and Kate
Characters
Zarawein, Paladin of Laying Down the Smack, er, I mean Justice (Kate); Domingo the Swashbuckler; Hubrick the Grim, multiclass Jester/Warrior (Steve); Kylie the Thief (Jen); Red, the foxy elementalist (David); and Lukas, U(and some consonants), the Trollish Thief
Date
September 1, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Wilhelm: The characters were sent on a mission to save the infant son of King Kessel from the evil wizard Herzl and his goblin minion. Much random violence ensued. There was scrilla for all.
Best scene of the night: Oldga the adultrous Ogress, being tricked into swigging down a vial of poison on the understanding that it was a potion of invulnerability. It had absolutely no effect. "Hah little man! Now you should flee! You cannot hurt Olga!"
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts


Blue Gender[edit]

Game System
BESM
Pitch
Game Master
Abe Torres
Players
Wilhelm, Laura, David, Jason, and ?
Characters
5
Date
August 25, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Player Thoughts
Wilhelm: Blue Gender is military SF in the anime style, and we had to rescue a little girl from an abandoned lab while being menaced by big blue bugs. Very chaotic, but we had a good time!
BTW, I'd just like to let everyone know that Abe makes the coolest character sheets ever! They added alot to the conveying the feel of the setting and the style of the story.
Jason: I wanted to chime in and say that I had a blast last night. I am sorry I had to swoop out early, my wifey senses were tingling. It was much fun to get back into gaming, thank you all for being patient with me. On another note, I really am not normally bossy, I was trying to play the character as best I could. I never play the guy in charge, I thought it would be a change of pace... I just hope it does not mark me as a pushy-pete. I will definately try and make next monday as well. I love the idea of trying new games. Thanks to all!!!! I hope to see ya again soon!
Additional GM Thoughts
I would like to thank everyone who played in my game, as I have been dying to try it out. I got some great feedback and I now know it is a two maybe three part adventure.
I was very impressed by how well you guys worked as team to give the PCs the best chance of success (aka survival) and only suffered one PC death.
You had a little luck in one of the first Blue being shocked but you all still did very well. I loved how when the one PC died and ran the little girl, everyone except one other PC keep refering to her as the "Package". Oh and sorry for the sniper attack, believe me it was in the scenario.


Our Lady of Perpetual Suffering[edit]

Game System
My Life With Master
Pitch
Game Master
Alan
Players
Eric, Donald, Lukas, and Michelle
Characters
Date
August 25, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Alan: The game took place in an isolated Catholic Boarding School and the Master was an 8 year old evil super genius trying to implant mind control devices in people.
Some Favorite Scenes
Walter the handymany was ordered to pick up a delivery at the back door and kill anyone who saw it. He found his connection Bobby, a student, near the back door. Just as he finished rolling for a more human connection, the delivery man arrives and puts a box on the stoop. Bobby asks "What's that Mr. Knecht?" Who do you think Walter killed? Who had to watch?
After battering Eddy, the jock, Luthyr, the goth kid, hides in the bathroom. He finds his friend Olaf, the foreign student, smoking a cigarette and convinces him to hide. The stand on toilets in stalls. Eddy arrives, finds Olaf. While Luthyr crouches in his stall, Eddy drubs the unfortunate NPC. However, when Eddy tires of that, he tries another stall and Luthor burst out, knocking Eddy back against a sink. Eddy lies dead, a pool of blood spreading. "I did it for you, Olaf!"
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

Universalis[edit]

Game System
Universalis
Pitch
Game Master
Alan
Players
Laura, Alan, Franklin and Luke
Characters
Date
August 11, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Laura: we did play another rousing game of Universalis. Near the end of the game Mercury watched and we attempted to recruit him into the SGA. Perhaps he will join soon.
Our story was all about zombies. The game tennants were...
1. The main setting would be a large mansion
2. The story would have to include zombies
3. The characters would be horror movie cliches
4. There would be a token black guy
5. Only one non-zombie would survive and at the end of the game the survivor would have to be speaking like John Wayne.
The lone survivor turned out to be Leon, the token black guy who had been injected with an anti-zombification vaccine with one of its side effects being a John Wayne accent. The zombies that survived included Brunhilda The Uber Super Zombie with fashion sense and Muffy the Cheerleader Zombie who turned out to be Leon's ex-girlfriend. The zombies were left free to try and take over the world, or just go out and eat brains.
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

Dust Devils[edit]

Game System
Dust Devils
Pitch
Monday the 4th, I will offer a game of "Dust Devils" for any cowpokes that have the gumption to mosey on down and belly up to the table. Bring your best steely grimace and a pack of cards.
Game Master
Wilhelm
Players
Characters
Date
August 4, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

Elfs[edit]

Game System
Elfs
Pitch
Game Master
Alan Barclay
Players
Wilhelm, ?
Characters
Date
July 28, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Wilhelm: Alan ran a

wacky game of Elfs, involving a wizard's hash pipe, spectres in the privy, a variety of sandwiches, and extra-planar hijinks. I'd just like to point out that my character, Umslopagus, might wizard that he was, managed to find the Eye of Vecna (in a pot of soup!), although later he lost it. David and Lukas, tawdry little fellows though they were, managed to assist my efforts, or at least not bollix them up totally. Bravo everyone. Clap. Clap.

Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts


OtherKind[edit]

Game System
OtherKind
Pitch
Game Master
Wilhelm
Players
5
Characters
Date
July 14, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts
I actually wound up with five players, and I was terrified, but it was a blast.


Exalted[edit]

Game System
Exalted
Pitch
Game Master
David
Players
Wilhelm, Laura,
Characters
5
Date
June 30, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Player Thoughts
Wilhelm: A shout out to David for running a 5 player demo of Exalted yesterday night, and giving us a great taste of the system and the flavor. That's what Monday nights are all about!
Laura: Yes, I had a good time. Thanks, David!
Additional GM Thoughts


Trollbabe[edit]

Game System
Trollbabe
Pitch
Game Master
Alan Barclay
Players
Laura, Franklin
Characters
Frigga, a 6'8" trollbabe focused on nature magic (Laura), Torsha, a sexy troll (Franklin)
Date
June 23, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Laura: Frigga's first

scene started out collecting magical herbs on the hill known as hairy top. She ended up startling a human sorcerress called Mina, who ran off to get her male friends. Frigga avoided confrontration with the armed humans by blending with the Earth. She had to dig in deeper after sneezing and waited for Mina to finish gathering herbs after the men left. Finally she snuck down the other side of the hill and went to see where the men had gone.

Meanwhile, Torsha started out at the mystical stone table. She spotted an male troll chanting in Trollish to the tree spirits. She struck up a conversation with him and offered to make dinner. Had, the old troll, decided to end his fast and proceeded to share roasted bird and told Torsha about the humans that kept wandering around looking for treasure. Torsha asked him which way the humans went and after failing to convince him to come with her went off North in search of the humans.
Frigga tried to sneak up on the human camp but ended up tripping and falling and making a lot of noise. The three human men Kelly, Greg, and an unamed fellow came up on her and mananged to capture her without too much trouble.
Torsha saw Frigga being captured and tried to distract the humans by making one of them let off a might fart. The spell backfired on her and she farted, calling attention to herself. Two of the men went to investigate leaving Kelly with his spear pointed at Frigga's back. Torsha managed to sneak around and get the drop on the two men. However her first few attempts at whacking them with her weapon led to her getting it caught in the trees and then blocked by one of the men's swords. Her slightly clumsy attempts at combat made the men burst into laughter. Had suddenly arrived with Torsha's frying pan and distracted the men enough for Torsha to kill one of them with the chains that connected the two pieces of her staff together.
Frigga was being poked in the back by Kelly's spear and finally got mad about it. She called on the spirit of a nearby tree and it dropped a branch that knocked him to the ground. She then was able to pull his spear away.
Torsha meanwhile disarmed the final human and he mangaged to run away. Frigga didn't persue Kelly either. Had declined going with them to find the human's camp. He laughed at Torsha's suggestion and went home, leaving the frying pan.
Torsha and Frigga found the human camp. They heard noised coming from a tired bag. Frigga said, "I think there's a person in there." Torsha then hit the bag a few times with her staff causing a few moans from it. She then opened it up and found a small troll with a big head. She closed the sack and said, "Nope, no person in there, just a troll."
"Aren't you going to let him out?" Frigga asked.
So Torsha let Lor out of the bag. He looked hungry so Frigga gave him a biscut. Torsha decided it was time for another meal so they raided the camp for food and did some quick cooking. Lor ate his share, but then started sniffing around the camp. He found a small yellow object and swallowed it.
The troll babes realized that it was gold and got the story out of Lor that he was stolen from his mom by humans and used as a gold finder. The human camp only had a little bit of gold in it. Torsha made one of the human's chain shirts fit Lor and then they proceeded on a gold hunt. Frigga used her magic to track Lor.
After some distractions Frigga lost Lor and sorcerres Mina showed up again. Torsha started eating her magic herbs, and Mina threw them in her face then started to cast a spell. Frigga decided to use wind to shield her friend and ended up helping Mina fly away.
They then decided to go looking for Lor again. After a bit of wandering about in the woods they smelled venison cooking and found their way to a woodsmen's long house. Torsha knocked on the door and managed to convince one of the woodsman to let them in using her sexiness and a bottle of ale found back at the human's camp.
When they entered the building they realized that the two human men and Mina were also visiting. The trollbabes had some venison and then noticed Mina trying to sneak out with a sack. There was a knock on the door and Frigga went to get it. The new visitor was a large female troll who was looking for her kidnapped son.
Frigga tried to freezed Mina before she could do anymore magic but failed to stop her from casting a spell on herself, the sack, and the two men. Torsha was holding onto Greg, but lost him when Kelly attacked her with a spear. Frigga managed to dispell the protective spell Mina cast, but didn't stop her from casting some necromancy that killed the Troll Mom. Torsha had managed to hit the table causing the sack with Lor in it to fall to the ground. Lor came out and then hid in a corner, crying about his mom.
Greg and Kelly took the distraction as a chance to run away, never to be seen again.
Torsha then tortured Mina trying to see if she could bring the Troll back to life. It turned out that she couldn't, she could only make her undead. Frigga thought that she could bring her back to life if they went to the stone table. Mina and some of the woodsmen carried the Troll back to the table. Had showed up and helped Frigga with her ritual to bring the Mom back.
First Frigga spoke to the God of death and asked him to bring the troll's spirit back to the world. Then she had to convince the spirit to rejoin with her body. After some reluctant assistance from Lor, this was done. Finally Frigga painted runes on the body and managed to put the spirit and body back together. There was a hapy reunion between mother and son. Frigga gave some of her blood in a ritual of thanks to the God of Death.
Everyone headed to the local human fishing village where the village elder sat as judge on Mina. Torsha used her more violent persuasive abilities to agrue for the death penalty. After some threats form Mina of a curse and some more physical threats from Torsha, the elder decided that they would burn the sorceres.
Boy a lot happned in two and a half hours :)
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

Von Goten's Predicament[edit]

Game System
Burning Wheel
Pitch
Game Master
Wilhelm
Players
David and Lukas
Characters
Date
June 23, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Wilhelm: I took my first chance to spin The Wheel tonight, running the demo adventure available from the website (and kindly included in printed form with my copy of the game). The venue was SGA Monday Night gaming.
The players were David and Lucas, new both to BW, and the Monday night group. I provided them with the pregenerated sample characters from the BW website, as well a cheat sheat explaining the basic skill mechanic and listing regular and martial actions that I pasted up from a printout of the GM screen (available where you might expect). Gotta give Luke props for the amount of support material he's made available. Lucas selected Quenesh the Elf (who is also found in the rulebook) and David took Peter the Priest.
The sample adventure focuses primarily on tactical problem solving (the adventurers must rescue the titular von Goten from the roof of a farmhouse full of orcs, with only an hour to go before sunset), so it doesn't give a whole lot of room for the character exploration that I think is one particular strength of BW. Nonetheless, both players immediately fell into character, and grabbed the opportunity to engage in some in character banter, which pleased me to no end.
The two characters selected were not the most combat heavy, so I set the opposition at 4 Goblin Sun-Blotters (archers) and the Knower of Secrets, an Orcish Shaman. Fortunately, the players realized they were outmatched, and looked for clever solutions, with the Elf scouting the farm house, and the Priest attempting to recruit the assistance of local folk with firey preaching (very well role-played by David).
The Priest eventually persuaded the local carpenters to build some large movable barricades, but unforunately some poor rolling on the oratory left him with very few men actually willing to carry the barricades forward against orcish arrows. The Elf meanwhile set himself in ambush, hoping to catch a few unwary goblins with arrow while they were distracted by the approach of the barricades.
We quickly learned how deadly BW combat can be, when after several rounds of arrow fire, the elf was brought down by very lucky shaft from one of the sun blotters (B10 hit!). However, he had given the priest and the two young men brave enough to stick around time to bring their barricade up against the front door, where they held it in place while von Goten climbed off the roof, and then set fire to the farmhouse.
Only the Knower made it out of the conflagration. I had already plotted him climbing out a window despite the sunlight to try and sneak up and lay a magic whammy on the people at the front door. So the ending was a desparate fist fight between the Knower, the Priest, the one youth who aced his Steel Test at seeing a real live Orc, and the very wounded von Goten. The Orc eventually succumed to nicks and pummeling, but did managed to slap the Priest with his Black Rust spell, which the doughty father was fortunately tough enough to survive.
The dying Quenesh was found on the rock pile at the back of the house, and a successful Minor Miracle from the Priest managed to pull him back from the brink. And that was that. Playing throught the demo took a little over two hours.
Player Thoughts
Lukas: I was one of the players in this demo (Quenesh), and I just wanted to say that David and I both greatly enjoyed the experience. While there were frustrating moments, it was a refreshing change of pace from most of the games we've played in the recent past. And many of our frustrations resulted from either poor dice rolling (which can happen in any game) or lack of knowledge concerning the system.
For instance, I assumed that there had to be some sort of "recharge time" with trying to use Threne of the Chamelion - i.e. I didn't think I could just keep rolling until I succeeded. Also, I made the mistake of assuming that simply because I was an elven ranger that I would be a crack shot with my bow. Not being familiar with the system, I had nothing with which to compare my character sheet's numbers in order to determine my relative level of skill.
In any case, I found it interesting and enjoyable enough that I ordered the books Monday night after I got home, so that I could look it over in more detail. It's definitely something that I would be interested in looking at for a long-term game.
Additional GM Thoughts
Now for some general comments. First of all, I tried to play the system as close to written as I could, with the exception that I used Luke's new Artha system, because it just makes way more sense than the one in the book. I started the characters with 2 fate and one persona point, which they definitely needed. The various comments from experienced players about the need for Artha to keep you alive are right on the money.
BW is definately a system that will take a certain amount of experience to gain fluency with. I definitely had to resort to more flipping through the rule books than I am normally comfortable with. One handy chart that is not on the GM screen that I'm going to make for myself before next time is a list of the Martial manuevers showing the source of the test dice for each one. i.e. Avoid dice are from Speed, Lock is Power vs. Agility or Power, etc. I spent alot of time looking these up. I'm sure after a while, you'll memorize them, but it's going to take practice.
Unfortunately in the process of trying to keep the rules straight, I kept forgetting to look for opportunities to give the characters Artha. There were some really nice RP moments where I could have doled out a few more fate points, but didn't think of it. My sense is that a BW GM should not fear having a fairly free hand with the Artha. It'll all get used at the end of the day :)
As I suspected, scripting was the hard sell. Neither player was actually ever willing to write their own script. I put part of the reluctance down to unfamiliarity with their options, and party down to the fact that "plotting your moves" is a very alien concept to most RPG players. I resorted to "interviewing" the players and writing down scripts for them, then playing them out and letting them know what was going on and when to roll dice. It worked out okay. And I must say, even with my lack of fluency and need to flip through books, the combat actually played out fairly quickly. My biggest fear was that the fine grained system would bog down, but that did not happen. I did notice however that the system can get stuck in situations where two sides are flailing away at each other for several rounds until somebody finally gets a lucky roll.
Despite the level of detail, I found the system fairly consistent in its use of mechanics, so that I was able to deduce the right way to apply them in many situation without having to resort to too much page flipping.
The players picked up pretty quickly on the idea of working on ways to lower their obstacle or get more dice by combining skills. The biggest problem we had in this area was finding ways to boost the Priests faith. The prayer obstacles begin at 4, which are pretty steep for starting character with Faith 5. In fact, the poor priest failed every prayer roll he made except the last. And even that was strictly speaking a failure, but the fact that he managed to squeeze two extra successes out of his lone initial six, caused me to declare it a success anyway. What's a poor priest to do?
One other random mistake I made was mostly forgetting to roll armor dice for the orcs (the players had none), but the players needed all the help they could get. The one time I did remember, it negated the one excellent shot Quenesh managed to get in, which felt rather cheap.
Final analysis? BW was not an overwhelming hit, at least for this crowd, although the players did seem to like it okay. David remarked that he enjoyed the "gritty" feel of the world and the system, while Lucas was interested in the skill and attribute development mechanic. I think BW would play best with folks who are looking for some serious simulationism, and are willing to take on the necessary attention to detail and bookkeeping. And, while the one-shot was fun, I think BW needs to be played as a campaign to be truely appreciated.

Universalis[edit]

Game System
Universalis
Pitch
Game Master
Alan
Players
Laura, Alan, ?
Characters
Date
June 16, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Laura: Yet another rousing game of Universalis was on the menu Monday. The tenents were postapocyoliptic pirates in the SouthWestern United States with romance and no technology beyond the 19th century. The brave Jane three eyes set off in her ship the Silver Cloud on their way to CrossPlanes to get food for the city on the Mesa.
Meanwhile at the Miser's algae farm not far from Crossplanes the Airship Red Raven captained by Martin stole the algae crop in order to give it away to the people.
The submarine known as the Kraken later did battle with the Silver cloud and Captain Cortez, actually the Miser, and his crew captured everyone aboard the Sliver Cloud except for Janey's little brother Tomm and the bartender/mechanic Jimmy. The Red Raven was not able to stop this despite the brave men manning the guns. They did rescue Tom from the disabled Silver Cloud and Jimmy from the Ocean.
They watched as the Kraken dove and hurried away to it's secret base. Fortunately one of the Kraken's crew had fallen in love with first sight with Tom and she told him where the Kraken was headed. He convined Captain Martin to go after the Kraken. Jimmy had an idea for a man-powered bomb and volunteered to be the one to pilot it to the Kraken in order to force it to the surface.
The crew member who loved Tom saw the Silver Cloud coming and launched herself in her attack glider off the deck of the Kraken, leaving behind a bomb on the slingshot used for launching gliders. Tom saw her and launched himself in his own glider to help. Some trigger happy men on the Red Raven started shooting early.
Then all hell broke loose as another Kraken crew member launched into the sky pushed by the explosion, Jimmy piloted the bomb towards the Kraken, the prisoners inside led by Jane fought to escape, Captain Cortez contemplated his dead wife and hoped to at least see her grave one last time.
After a fairly short battle The crew of the Red Raven, Tom and his love, and Jane and the remaining crew of the Silver Cloud were victorius. They captured the Kraken and its crew, but allowed Captain Cortez to set off towards his sunken base so that he could visit the grave of his wife.
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

Tunnels & Trolls[edit]

Game System
Tunnels & Trolls
Pitch
Game Master
Matt Borselli
Players
Alan, Laura, Eric, and James
Characters
Randolf the Troll Wizard (Alan), Daisy the Hobbit Rogue (Laura), Spike, the flying Faerie Wizard (Eric), and Sstuart the Sserp Warrior (Sserps are giant sentient snakes) (James)
Date
June 9, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Matt B.: All told, it went pretty well. I brought along visual aids (dungeon tiles) that helped quite well, IMHO (and fulfilled a need of mine to actually USE them).
After a quick character creation and equipage, I ran them through some of the basics for T&T: saving rolls, combat rules, missile rules.
The Adventure of the Evening started with a friend of theirs ("Give me a name" "George" "Give me a race" "Elf"), George the Elf, lost in a dungeon called the Ring Vaults. George owed the PCs money, but was still looked upon favorably by most of them. When his wife came to the PCs and explained he had disappeared in the Ring Vaults, they decided to go look for him.
The Ring Vaults are old goblin vaults. What Randolf the Troll Wizard remembered was: All the vaults are connected with each other by mining tracks, there are over 100,000 vaults, vaults range in size of very small (5" x 5") to very large, there are three kinds of vault doors (normal doors with locks, magic goblin locks which will suck you into the vault if you touch the door, and secret door vaults), and the Vaults are over 10,000 years old.
Over the course of the adventure, they discovered A Magic Skull of Unknown Power (TM); interrupted a goblin meeting (Goblin Local #5) not once, not twice, but three times; avoided rolling their cart off a very steep track; looted the dead who had plunged off the steep track (finding a magical bronze gladius and magic faerie dust in the swag); fought a giant spider (where the Hobbit knocked the Sserp unconscious with her blowgun dart); climbed up a cavern wall into a different part of the Vaults; crossed a room of multiple rope bridges with what sounded like lava far below; got sucked through a magic goblin door as a group, sacrificed the magic skull to a magic fire, and FINALLY found George in a room with an acid pit and 10 guardian skeletons. After a brief battle with the skeletons (they were tough, but the party prevailed), and reviving George from magic induced sleep, the PCs then proceeded to loot the room, finding more magic and gold.
All told, the adventure went well. Over the course of the game, George became more alive as the players talked about him, his quirks, how bad he was at cards, the boots Randolf chewed on, how his wife was nice. It was a good interaction, especially since he didn't show up until the end.
Thanks to everyone for their time, even with/despite the very primative combat rules!
Player Thoughts
Alan: The game was a blast, Matt. I'm glad to finally get a chance to play T&T.
I love James' drawing of Ssstewart with a miner's lamp-hat, segmented bronze armor and a giant handy-man's hammer wrapped in his tail.
I had fun interupting the goblin meeting. I thought the game in general lent itself to humor. Makes me want to whip up a dungeon and find some suckers! Much fun!
Laura: Yeah, James' picture was great. I also had a lot of fun. My characters full name was Daisy Butterchurn. I think she would fit in with the thread on usually characters acting "evil." My idea is that she looked like an innocent little hobbit, but would really steal your gold teeth while you were still using them.
We also had the punk Fairy Spike. Eric kept saying he must be the least charismatic fairy ever.
Additional GM Thoughts


Bootleggers & Mobsters[edit]

Game System
Primetime Adventures (playtest version)
Pitch
Game Master
Matt Wilson
Players
Wilhelm,
Characters
Date
May 26, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Wilhelm: Thanks to Matt Wilson for running us through a playtest of his Prime Time Adventures game. PTA lets you play pretty much any genre, with the conceit being that you are character on a weekly telvision action/drama/adventure serial. In this case, we had 1920's bootleggers & mobsters in Chicago, and managed to a very good time with exciting car chases, swanky jazz parties at the Lexington Hotel, and lots of people speaking in really bad east coast accents.
Player Thoughts
Wilhelm: I think Matt has the core of a really solid game here, and I look forward to seeing how it develops.
Additional GM Thoughts

TORG[edit]

Game System
TORG
Pitch
Anybody up for Monday TORG?
There'll be jungle mist, monster trucks, one of those big firefighting seaplanes, dinosaurs, a mountain lake hideaway, an Egyptian megalomaniac, ticking bombs, shootouts, swordfights, and, provisionally, syphillis.
Characters will be provided. All you need bring is a d20.
Syphilis? I have no goddamn idea what I was thinking when I sent this out.
Game Master
Johnzo
Players
Laura, Matt Wilson, Matt Borselli, and others.
Characters
A bunch of templated guys. I remember there was a lizardman and a mountie. Maybe a wizard too.
Date
Monday, May 19, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
There wasn't much to this scenario. It was just a tryout of the rules with several combat scenes, seeing how the oddball cards worked, etc. The rules seemed to work fine.
The only concrete thing I remember was that the lizardman came with a minigun that did completely ridiculous damage--it sawed a tyranosaur in half with one shot. Plus there was a helicopter shootdown too.
Player Thoughts
Matt B.: I must say that I had a great time! As Keebler the Edinos, I got a good grasp of the system (Yet another that I must pick up, I fear). And while poor Keebler took the final plunge in the plane, he was happy to see his companions Simon (the gadgeteer) and Holfgate (the Victorian big game hunter) parachute to safety.
Especially memorable moments:
    • Sgt. McKensie of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police ramming a halftrack with the PCs transport (a bus).
    • Simon rescuing a wounded man while utilizing his invisiblility device.
    • Sgt. McKensie calling for the bad guys to surrender as Holfgate blows one away with his elephant gun.
    • Keebler taking out a T Rex with the minigun amidst an Edinos attack.
    • Phenomenal rolls by the Mage with psychic abilities.
    • Simon and Holfgate clamoring aboard the plane and confronting Dr. Zarkon, while Keebler and the Mage try again and again to bring the plane down!
    • Keebler jumping on the front nose of the plane and lobbing grenades into the cockpit (only one of which the co-pilot missed - to his detriment).
    • Sgt. McKensie facing off alone against a tank!
    • The vicious fight between Dr. Zarkon and Holfgate. Holfgate stabs Zarkon and Zarkon strangles Holfgate with his bare hands!
    • Simon disarming the deadly bomb while sparring with Dr. Zarkon, culminating with Simon leaping from the plane with an unconscious Holfgate as the plane with Dr. Zarkon and Keebler plunges to the jungle below.
Will Zarkon be back? That's up to Johnzo . . . .
Laura: I also had a lot of fun. I noticed that there seemed to be a big advantage to playing someone from the particular curio? we were fighting in. Since Simon new the technology and the language he was able to do a lot.
I was sorry that Allan's Mage character ended up not being able to do much at the end of the game.
Matt W.: Hey Matt, you forgot one:
    • Sgt. McKensie - writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear.
I had a few beefs with Torg showing it's kludgy age, but I did think it was pretty smooth the way Johnzo slipped Laura's "Personal Stake" card in as a subplot.
I think it would be cool to have a card deck that's purely subplots.
The card deck in general was pretty interesting, though I think I'd tweak it to allow a broader definition of approved actions (for example, I'd have "maneuver" mean any sort of strategic movement), so that players aren't doing dumb things just to get cards.
And as far as the deck determining initiative, I warmed up to it fairly well. I didn't use it for that when I ran Shatterzone, but I think I would if for some reason I ever ran that game again.
Johnzo says he'd consider running Torg with the Hero Wars rules. I'd be up for that.
Additional GM Thoughts
Torg had long been a bridesmaid game of mine so it was fun to try it out. Maybe TORG in 2006?

Hounds Towers (2nd run)[edit]

Game System
Hero Wars
Pitch
Game Master
Alan Barclay
Players
Laura, Clinton, Matt Borselli
Characters
Date
May 12, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Player Thoughts
Matt B.: I would like to say that I had a great time at the Monday meet. I joined Alan, Laura and Clinton in playing Hero Wars. Alan presented a very good game. Since that was the first time for me playing Hero Wars and attending the Monday meet, it was exciting. I love the system and will be checking out the new Hero Quest (Hero Wars v2.0?) when it comes out next month.
Additional GM Thoughts

Blackbirds[edit]

Game System
Pitch
Game Master
Players
Matt Wilson, John
Characters
Date
May 12, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts


The Birthplace[edit]

Game System
Trollbabe
Pitch
My episode of Trollbabe is the first one I'll be running at a larger Scale than normal, with the fate of an entire village in the balance. The episode title is "The Birthplace," and it is set in the far north of the world, in one of the coldest, most majestic areas possible. The local ice trolls proclaim that the tiny human outpost of Svalbard is threatened by an imminent volcano eruption, although the humans think that's hogwash. Meanwhile, a darker menace rides in on the waves of the Knife Sea. Expect lots of fire, ice, magic, and death.
Game Master
Clinton Nixon
Players
Wilhelm, John Harper, Alan Barclay, Saffron
Characters
Kleewick (Wilhelm), a short but wide dark-green trollbabe, fearless in nature and ready for any challenge. She began on the Lady Elise, riding with Captain Miles and Dmitri.
Yalla (Alan), a nature-loving leafy green trollbabe who'd been seeking the Egg of Fertility, which worked into the adventure extremely well. She began on the nearby island of Bjørnøya, literally "Bear Island," a huge floating ice sheet covered with polar bears.
Helga (Saffron), a tiny (for a trollbabe), scrawny bookish trollbabe in search of mysteries, who began in the village of Svalbard.
Thana (John Harper), the weirdest-looking trollbabe you ever saw: red skin, with black hair in a mohawk, tiny devil horns, scarred all over, and two huge wicked knives. She intensely disliked humans and began on top of Mother Fire, with the trolls.
Date
May 5, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Clinton: This adventure had quite a bit more prep than my last one, Trollbabe 'n' chicken. It was my first adventure at the "organized group" scale, and I knew I'd probably have four player characters, so this time I sketched out a page of NPCs, each with about two lines of description and motivation, along with a map, a half page of ideas for Bangs, and a page of random human and troll names. Still, that was only about an hour prep time, so Trollbabe's still my recommendation for the harried GM.
The adventure was set in the very far north reaches of the world, a land of ice, snow, bears, wolves, aurora borealis, and the most fun: volcanoes. The tiny (about 35 people) human outpost of Svalbard was being threatened by the imminent eruption of a volcano they called The Smoking Mountain and the local trolls called Mother Fire. The humans didn't believe the mountain would erupt - it'd been smoking since they'd first seen it - and thought it was all a trollish ruse to get them to leave.

The relationships that all affected this were:

    • Freyda, the female troll chieftain that wanted to help the humans. Her sight may have been obscured by the fact that she was the lover of Sashenka, a fierce human hunter.
    • Ozurla, the male troll shaman that thought warning the humans was nice enough, but didn't really give a shit whether they lived or died.
    • Modordi, an outcast human-killin', mean-livin' troll that actively hoped the human village would be wiped out.
    • Vladimir, the human leader that was real used to making hard decisions, but listened to himself more than anyone else.
    • Sashenka, the village's best hunter, but a bit of a weirdo, always sleeping in igloos, and secretly loving Freyda.
    • Captain Miles, the captain of the Lady Elise, a ship bringing supplies to the outpost and possibly providing a way out.
    • Dmitri, a human sorcerer coming aboard the Lady Elise, who wanted to harness the mystical power of the volcano's eruption for himself.
    • (I'd actually planned more relationships, including Vladimir's wife, who wanted a child badly, but ended up not using them.)
The big deal about the eruption is that the trolls were making it happen. I tend to make trolls much more varied by location than humans, and these trolls were literally make of ice and fire: they were as ancient as the land and only had new births once every two or three centuries. These births grew as tiny pebbles expanding to the size of boulders over the centuries, enclosed within the volcano. As it erupted, they would be launched out, cracking open to reveal new baby trolls, only five feet tall and not yet covered in snowy white fur, but all black, rocky, and crackling. While some trolls wanted to save the humans, none would let the birth not happen.
I'm not going to recount everything that happened: I'm hoping the individual players will come on and talk about that. I'll recount my favorite scenes for each one, and how everything turned out, though:
Thana had some great scenes, and I thought for a while that she'd be at odds with everyone else. She met Modordi right off, who got along with her better than most. After some struggle, though, she ended up rallying the trolls to build a dam to divert the lava flow and save the village, provoking Modordi into attacking her. In a Trollbabe first for me, she was killed in the battle, although her fight let her form relationships with not only a group of other trolls, but Sashenka, the village's hunter and troll-lover. These relationships were later used after Thana's death.
Kleewick, as always, rocked the house. She managed to fight down a huge ice-sea-serpent that attacked the Lady Elise, and then stopped Dmitri from raising his own army of dark, twisted ice trolls, throwing him into the volcano to feed the fire. Of course, his power did cause the volcano to throw up a huge belch. At the end of the adventure, she took Dmitri's mystical formulas to the top of a nearby mountain, The Titan - the largest in the world - and tried to divert the eruption's power via a ritual and Dmitri's potions to a huge troll-egg atop there. The ritual didn't work, incapacitating her, but allowing me to narrate that it kind of did - the egg burst open, revealing...
And Helga's story should be told first. I was really proud of the player of Helga, as someone who'd not played much before and was kind of visibly nervous during the game. At first, she didn't get a lot done, even driving the humans to distrust her. She tried to cast a spell to put a group of humans to sleep - including Vladimir - while hunting wolves, convincing them she'd killed them all. The spell floundered, though, causing the humans to think she was full of trickery. She ended up not only convincing the humans to leave, though - the well-timed belch from Dmitri's death helped - but confronting Modordi after Thana died, tying the most physically frightening trollbabe to the weakest. With the dead Thana contributing two relationships to the fight with Modordi, he ended up being driven to the edge of Mother Fire, leaping in to cause the eruption to go off immediately.
Back to Kleewick for a second. You can guess who came out of the Titan's Egg, right? A huge, nasty, burnt-black, reborn Modordi, looking down at Kleewick with hateful eyes as she hung over a ledge. That was her last scene.
And Yalla ruled, starting the story befriending a polar bear which continued to follow her. Yalla was a trollbabe from an earlier adventure, and continued on her quest to find this Egg that would let her contact her mother. She made her way into the interior of the volcano, harvesting a smaller, dead troll egg - kind of a troll stillbirth. Yalla's story was marked by failure after that, but it all added to the story. She ran into town with her polar bear, trying to scare the humans into leaving, yelling "Polar bear attack!" Two failed rolls resulted in incapacitation as the villagers grabbed their weapons and beat the bear and trollbabe to the ground, locking her in the belly of the ship she came in on. She was the first to see a baby troll, though, as the eruption launched an egg right into the ship, ending her last scene.
Player Thoughts
Wilhelm: The best moment of the night was actually everytime Clinton pretended to be a polar bear by rearing up on his hind legs and bellowing.
Oh, and he forgot to mention the scourge of of the ice weasels. One of my favorite early moments was Thanna intervening in a battle between a group of wolves and a horde of ice weasels, which resulted in the memorable quote "I'm not getting dissed by a bunch of weasels!"
On a rules note, I'm continuing to see that one of the most common elements of confusion faced by new Trollbabe players is understanding the difference between Conflicts and Series.
Also, on a strategy note, adding a second action type to a conflict often seems tempting, but it definitely enhances the risk as well. I've seen several cases where the course of events was dramatically shifted by failing both action types in a single roll. As always, the essence of Trollbabe keeps coming down to deciding how much you are willing to risk on any particular goal.
Saffron: As a narrative game this was an entirely new role-playing experience for me. I was in agony for the first half-hour of the game until I was able to throw down the shackles of causality and move into the Bright Future of plot development. I am particularly enamored by the fact that it is no more enjoyable to succeed than it is to fail during conflict. I don't know that I can ever go back.
Clinton's trolls were wonderfully evokative, they were what I'd expect the love children of a yeti and a Discworld troll to be. The affair between man and troll was remarkably mature and gave a richness I don't often get from intense and lengthy games, much less a campy one-shot.
The high point of the game for me, other than Clinton's aforementioned polar bear impression, was Yalla waist-deep in an ice weasel nest and using the geographic feature "weasel tube" to score a reroll, impaling two charging ice weasels [1] thru the ground.
[1] Don't look 'em in the eye, they can see yer fear!
John: The ice weasel stunt was fun. That was my red-skinned, one-eyed trollbabe, Thana. The real possibility of being devoured by ice weasels just made her snap and start stabbing. Not only did she score a handsome ice weasel-fur outfit, but a relationship with a wolfpack as well.
I decided from the outset that Thana had been abused by humans when she was growing up (used a gladiator/slave in the south) and still bore many scars (of all kinds). I really enjoyed milking the irony of her being the one who saved the human village from the flow of lava from the volcano. She ended up in a fight to the death with the large and angry troll, Modordi, who wanted to see the human village burn. Actually, so did Thana (and she and Modordi could have been fast friends) but she knew deep down that the humans would blame the trolls if their village burned, and soon afterward, the humans would make sure the troll's forest burned as well.
Thana died protecting the people that she hated in order to save the creatures that she loved. Damn... so many layers -- and in a one-shot no less! Clinton, you rock. You too, Ron.
This game was loads of fun. I agree with Saffron -- the game sometimes makes failure even more interesting than success, which means that cool stuff is always happening. The game never hits one of those bumps where someone fails a die roll and everything crashes to a halt. Trollbabe delivers what it preaches: a no whiff-factor, protagonizing system that bleeds pure drama at every turn.
I'm looking forward to lots more Trollbabe. Especially if Clinton promises to do more polar bear impressions.
Additional GM Thoughts
You do see a bit of an "Ice and Fire" influence. The "Life in Hell" reference was brought to my attention last night. It seems they get referenced in a lot of games - I remembered them from some other game (I thought it was GURPS Fantasy Bestiary, but I went home and couldn't find them) where they're described as being like cats in that they have a very high internal temperature, so high that their bite actually burns and their blood is near boiling.
The troll interpretation is odd. It just struck me at the time as a good idea, but I think I'm going to use it for my further games, with trolls being varied by climate. In the jungle, for example, you might find trolls with longer arms and brown/black fur, who reproduce by making large eggs of dirt and mud, and bluish-white furred trolls living on a coastline with webbed hands and feet for swimming, whose eggs grow on the seafloor.

A Visit to Royston Vasey[edit]

Game System
Call of Cthulhu
Pitch
It's a dark and stormy afternoon and you are on a coach tour of England. The coach has broken down about five miles from a small town. The driver goes for help, but does not return. It's starting to get dark and you're tired of waiting. You head for the little town. On the way a sign looms through the rain. It says "Welcome to Royston Vasey (you'll never leave)."
I will be running a game based on a British Dark Comedy tv series. I will use the old COC rules, so you just need two D10s. I will bring pre made characters so that we will have more time to play.
Game Master
Laura
Players
R.D. Stenzel
Characters
Date
May 5, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Player Thoughts
Last night was my first time attending this little get together at Cardhaus. I had a great time and it seemed to go quite well. In Laura's CoC game we played stranded tourists trapped in rural England when the zombies come out. Quite interesting and an awesome place to meet with other gamers. I look forward to the next time I'll be able to attend.
Additional GM Thoughts

Trollbabe'n'Chicken[edit]

Game System
Trollbabe
Pitch
Game Master
Clinton Nixon
Players
Wilhelm, Alan,
Characters
Maevonne, a tall, frightening trollbabe dipped in human magic, but with the uncanny ability to talk to animals. (This ability wasn't really unique to Maevonne, but she utilized it heavily.)
Kleewick (Wilhelm), short for a trollbabe at 6' tall, but nearly as wide. Kleewick is a powerful fighter, and is actually a trollbabe from an earlier one-shot I ran, which meant she came with a relationship to the elder of a village in the duchy. (The location of the duchy was never specified, and this was my first GM improvisation, by making it set in the locale of the earlier adventure.)
Yalla (Alan), another tall trollbabe, had all the features of a tree, being of great height, willowy, and dressed in green. Her social descriptor was "sexy," and the player definitely played it up.
Date
April 28, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Have I mentioned lately how much ass Trollbabe kicks for me? If not, it does. Any questions or comments about the following account are more than welcome.
I ran it for about the fourth time last night as a one-shot game for three other Forge members, and it was my best run yet, resulting in three of us deciding to continue on for a short campaign with it. Going in, I wanted to try something different. Inspired by Ron's recent The Pool: Dragons and Jasmine thread, I did much less GM prep than I normally would have, wanting to see if "letting go" would result in a better session.
It most definitely did. With only a half-page of scribbled notes, the players and I weaved a damn fun tale. My notes consisted of the following backstory:
    • The Duke Baldulf is a renowned fox hunter, and is also renowned for his voracious appetite for the ladies.
    • His wife, Lady Vivien, is pregnant and is hiding it from him, for it is not his. The Duke cannot have children.
    • There has been a silver fox spotted recently, and it is raiding all the chicken coops in the duchy. The Duke, for all his effort, has not been able to catch it. The fox is actually a skin-changer, and is the duke's sensechal, Petrus, who has also impregnated Lady Vivien.
    • The Old Lady of the Forest, an ancient troll, has laid a curse on the Duke so that he may never have an heir, as he accidentally killed her one child forty years ago.
That was all I had (besides a large list of names), but the four non-player characters were used by the players to make this story rock. The Stakes were pretty simple: will the the fox in the duke's henhouse be revealed, and if so, how will the duke react?
Here's a shining example of where I go wrong as a GM: I thought the adventure would go something like this:
    • Some characters hoof around the countryside looking for a silver fox.
    • Others find out that Lady Vivien is pregnant, and investigate either (a) who the father is, or (b) why the Duke can't have a kid.
    • Someone finds out the Old Lady of the Forest cursed the duke, and then finds out why.
    • It gets all tied up somehow.
Even scheming the lightest timeline in my head was a big mistake. Luckily, my players shocked me out of it.
How things really went down:
    • First scene, Yalla goes straight to the Old Lady and finds out she's a troll. Yalla's looking for the Mystic Egg of Whatchamizit and the Old Lady tells her the price for the knowledge of the egg's location: a child.
    • Kleewick's quickly involved as well: she's bringing a letter to the duke from her friend Silius, the aforementioned town elder she had a relationship with, and ends up on a hunt for the fox with the duke.
    • Maevonne, played by someone I can always trust to make awesome, but bizarre, character choices, starts off talking to a farmer who's had his coop robbed. She gets the first glimpse of the fox by casting a spell to release the one surviving chicken from its fear.
As the game progressed, Yalla makes friends with a group of children and finds out one has no parents. This little four-year-old boy was so frightened by her initial appearance that he wets himself, and her failed attempts to make the boy a new pair of pants makes the children laugh so hard that one ended up telling her a secret: Lady Vivien's having a baby. Yalla's player thought for a while about trying to give the boy, Bjorn, to the Old Lady, but meets his "three moms," Lady Vivien's chambermaids who are raising him.
Meanwhile, Kleewick and Maevonne end up meeting in the forest while looking for the fox, and Kleewick casts a spell on a lodestone to find the beast. Of course, the lodestone points right back towards the duke's manse, so much charging occurs. Maevonne heads off another way, though, and talks to Rushkin the crow, who tells her that a silver fox has been crawling underneath the duke's manor. (Rushkin wins NPC of the night, by the way. He was completely spontaneous and created by the player, but was totally the most fun to play.) Kleewick finds some silver fox hair in the manor's stables, near where Petrus and Lady Vivien just were, and Maevonne talks to Artus, the groundskeeper, who shows her the crawlspace under the manor where she finds a trapdoor leading to Lady Vivien's room.
As far as relationships go, they were sprouting up everywhere: Yalla had a relationship with a little girl, Inge, already, and of course Maevonne had a relationship with Rushkin. The interesting thing is that no re-rolls had occurred so far.
All of that changed in the next bit of the adventure, which I call "the better part."
As night fell, our three trollbabes:
    • Kleewick is literally hiding her huge self inside the duke's chicken coop, waiting for a fox.
    • Yalla and the chambermaids have decided it would be funny for Yalla to switch places with one of them tonight that the duke is likely to come have sex with.
    • Maevonne's holding off for a moment, but plans to confront the Lady Vivien.
The duke does come to Yalla's bed, thinking she's one of the maids. A great part of Trollbabe is the Pace of conflicts, allowing players to decide how much focus they want on an event. In this case, the player chose blow-by-blow: we were going to put the spotlight on this sexual encounter. That's something you don't see in an average game run by me. It was awesome, though. There were a few failed Series, leading to some great blows: the Goal was to get through the whole encounter without the duke knowing what the jig was, so as the duke gets suspicious and starts to run his hands up towards Yalla's horns (a failed Series), Yalla flips him over and ties him to the bed with a scarf (a successful Series).
In the meantime, Kleewick is bursting out of the henhouse after she sees a human hand reach in and steal a chicken. When I say bursting, I mean it: her head pops out the top and she tears through the side, catching up to the man who's now changed into a large silver fox, and then using a re-roll when she failed to keep him down to throw him into a nearby hollowed out stump and sit on him.
Maevonne has slipped Vivien a human truth serum in her tea, which Vivien noticed (a failed Series), but still affected her (a successful Series). As she blurts out the truth of her child's parentage, everyone hears Kleewick yelling. Maevonne, the drugged Lady, Yalla wrapped in a sheet, and the dazed duke in just his pants all come a-runnin', and an eruptions of conflicts ensue as Petrus, the Silver Fox, emerges from the stump as a man, kicks Kleewick in the mouth and knocks her out, calls the bunch of trollbabes liars and schemers, and gets a spell cast on him by Maevonne to reveal the truth. The initial roll fails, and Rushkin makes another appearance on a re-roll, chanting the spell along with her. The re-roll's failed, though, and Petrus transforms again (hey! the spell worked), leaping at Maevonne, knocking her over and eating Rushkin.
By the way, all of above specifically happened because of the rules. Two failed re-rolls leads to trollbabe incapacitation, and any relationships involved get killed (Rushkin.) However, in that case, the GM describes the fate, so I had the spell kind of work, transforming Petrus back into a fox form.
Naked Yalla manages to catch Petrus - after he's attacked by huge enraged chickens, a side-effect of Maevonne's spell gone awry - and the duke nearly kills him before she bargains for his life. He's sentenced to serve Yalla for a year and a day and enter the duchy no more.
The last scene was six months later, as the duke gives Yalla Lady Vivien's newborn child, covered in light fox hair. It's assumed Yalla will take it to the Old Lady and get the duke's curse removed, but we ended it there.
Player Thoughts
Wilhelm: We had a number of two Action Type rolls, usually of the X + magic variety. In fact it was failure on a double action that resulting in our first instance of a trollbabe getting into real trouble.
One thing I was struck by during play was that in Trollbabe, you are only ever as involved in a situation as you want to be... Until you are injured!
What I mean is this: If an uninjured Trollbabe is willing to accept a failure, she can walk away from any situation she wants to. Only if she cares enough to go for the reroll is anything at risk.
But an injured Trollbabe that is forced into a conflict is going to suffer further injury if she fails her initial roll, or even if she wins the series with a reroll. It seems like in the world of Trollbabe once you've stuck your hand into a situation, the situation sticks to you.
I'm still pondering about what this means for the dynamics of play.
Finally, and interesting note on the dynamics of the pacing rules. Choosing a slower pace boosts your chance of success if it was already > 50%, but lowers it if was originally below 50%.
Alan: What struck me was just how much control I had over building a meaningful series of events. I'm not sure how much of what follows showed up in play, but here's some decisions and ideas I experienced interacting with the game.
Clinton had told us the basic elements - the duke, unable to concieve and the egg robberies. At character creation, I decided to play into this with Earth Goddess/Fertility magic as Yalla's organizing theme. I suspected the duke was the werefox and envisioned seducing him into revealing the truth.
Just before play, I got the idea to give myself a mcguffin to chase - a magic stone egg (a fertility totem). So I immediately asked after a wise woman. Clinton surprised me with the old troll's request for a child.
While Wil and James played out the arrival and involvement of their characters, I got the idea for my next scene: it would be ironic if Yalla's next encounter was with a bunch of children playing hide and seek in the woods. Mind you, I wanted to develop Yalla's quest, not resolve it immediately, so I debated with myself whether I should ask for the scene - then I decided to trust our GM to find a complication.
I requested the scene and to my great gratification, I got it. I found it funny that I had started with the intent of a seduction and was now playing motherly games with the village children. In another twist, the GM didn't provide much complication between me and my goal - I found an orphan child after only one conflict roll (helping a girl find her hiding friends).
I had an option at this point to show up in a scene where the other players were helping the Duke hunt the egg-stealer, but decided not to.
At this point the other players thought I'd just kidnap the boy. But I still wanted to confront the Duke, so the next turn I had, I requested a scene at the castle. Yalla arrives with the intent of persuading the Duke to allow the troll-woman to adopt the boy.
I won't go into any more detail, but I got Yalla into the Duke's bedroom, just after the other players had cornered the egg-stealing werefox. It wasn't till that point that I realized my guess about the guilty party was wrong.
Even so, Yalla played a part in bring the Duke and the fox into confrontation. Yalla called on the Earth Mother to make all present speak true (this became a blow-by-blow social and magic conflict where I got injured and burned two rerolls.)
I think I requested all the scenes I played in, except the last one or two which involved the other Trollbabes. Requesting a scene gives an incredible ability to set up the thematic elements one wants for one's personal story. I love it!
Additional GM Thoughts
That was a wild rush of "what happened." What happened between me and the players, though? Well, I truly let go. Nothing happened as I thought it might, yet all the big conflicts I'd thought about did occur. How come?
Trollbabe is a system engineered to do this, and do it well. By default, the GM narrates character success and the player narrates character failure. This is an insanely powerful tool to let the GM guide the story (by tempering successes in certain directions) while keeping the character protagonized (by letting the players guide the failures in ways they prefer.)
There's not much more to say besides letting go of the reins was a wholly positive experience. The players got to set up what they wanted to focus on (via Pace), make their characters powerful motivators for conflict, and we all had a fantastic time.

Hounds Tower[edit]

Game System
Hero Wars
Pitch
Game Master
Alan Barclay
Players
Laura, Kevin Shultz,
Characters
Date
April 21, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Player Thoughts
Laura: We definetely had a lot of laughs, mostly due to Kevin Shultz's horrible Arnold imitation the entire time. He did his best German accent during the whole game.
Additional GM Thoughts


The Keys of Uriel[edit]

Game System
Sorcerer
Pitch
This Monday at Cardhaus, I'm running "The Keys of Uriel," a fantasy-western Sorcerer game.
Game Master
Clinton Nixon
Players
Wilhelm Fitzpatrick,
Characters
Date
April 21, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Player Thoughts
Wilhelm: The Sorcerer game wound up leaning more heavily on the western tropes than the fantasy, which lead to some cool images, such as the barbarian being a giant guy in ill-fitting pinstripes and a bowler hat with a giant runesword strapped to his back, or the half-fey thief who went about dressed like a riverboat gambler. Actually, the coolest scene was the (NPC) assassin crashing through the window of the brothel with a crossbow pistol in each hand, blazing away :)
Additional GM Thoughts

Hallo Spaceboy/girl[edit]

Game System
Starchildren: The Velvet Generation
Pitch
Game Master
Wilhelm
Players
Clinton, Laura, Donald, Eric, and Lynn
Characters
Johnny Heroin - punk rock guitarist (Clinton), Maxwell Demon - a glam vocalist directly inspired by and named after the character from the movie Velvet Goldmine, @ (yes, that was his name, think of the marketing possibilities) - the slightly psychotic keyboardist, Bob MacGuire(?) - queen of the skins (Laura), and Arthur Frode - bassist (Donald)
Date
April 14, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Wilhelm: Borrowing shamelessly and freely from Hedwig & the Angry Inch, Wild Zero, Tommy, Max Headroom and no doubt a few other things wedged in my subconscious I unleashed a demo game of Starchildren on SGA's Monday Night indie gaming group. It was the first time out for all of us, with only the GM and one other player having read the rules.
The adventure I set up was partly influenced by a desire to try out as many of the components of the system as possible, as well as the need to fit things into about 3 hours or so. We had five players, and I had prepared a two page cheat sheet before hand that had slightly cut down character generation rules on one side and a summary of the card mechanic on the other. I definitely think the character generation sheet helped alot, I had generated a couple characters before hand using the book, and it took me 45 minutes to anhour, but even the players that weren't familiar were able to get through character generation in 30 minutes with the sheet. I had all the players be Earthlings, both for simplicity, and also because I wanted to introduce Starchild weirdness through play.
I don't know if anybody read the back of the sheet, we just sort of explained things as we went along. I started things out in a club where the characters were enjoying a fine set by their favorite band, Wussy Bunny, and waiting for the debut of a mysterious new rocker being run by the Mob, one "Johnny Reb." The evenings festivities were disturbed as the club was crashed by a bunch of rowdy Hessians, who wanted to put some fear into those pussy glam rockers, but instead were met with a classic Romper Stomper headbutt from Johnny H. The rest ot the band mixed it up, and we got to try out the combat rules. A few observations I quickly picked up:
a) you usually only get halfway through the action deck in a round.
b) it *does not work* to put in a single set of cards for a group of GM characters, and having them all move on those cards. The round kept ending before the NPCs could do anything. As as result, our heros ran circles round them. However:
c) Punches and kicks do shite damage. It seems like two reasonably matched characters would take forever to rack up enough damage for a blackout. A table leg, which I treated as a nightstick wasn't all that more effect. A broken bottle treated as a small knife was very deadly though...
After running about four rounds of combat (which resulted in a couple Hessians being slightly pummled, and one taken down) cops burst in the front door and our heros went out the back into the alley. While catching their breath, they noticed an unconcious teenage girl in club kid wear dumped on the pile of trash. Being good hearted folk, they carried her with as they escaped to Johnny H's convenient nearby basement sqaut.
The girl turned out to be named "Mauni" and claimed that she and Johnny Reb were "in love", only it seemed that Johnny had taken up with some "bad men" who weren't letting Mauni see him any more, and were rather insistent to the point of beating her up and taking her out with the trash. After an attempt to talk the girl out of what was obviously an abusive relationship, the characters decided to table things till the next day, and Bob (as the only female character) elected to take Mauni home for the night. Bob's slumber was disturbed by a gentley glowing Mauni, who had somehow gotten a bit, um, "boy" somehow, trying to crawl into bed with her. Bob gently refused these advanced, but did set Mauni up with her teddy bear.
We cut to next nights "practice session" for the band (somewhat difficult as only two of them had instruments), before which @ had checked with some of his homies in the dims trying to find out what was up with Johnny Reb. Not much dirt was forthcoming, but he did learn that the Cat's Eye was running a "Battle of Bands" for the opportunity to open at Johnny Reb's next show. Mmmm... railroading... So delicous. :)
So the group decided to enter the contest, all they needed were instruments, songs to play on them, and most vital... A NAME FOR THEIR BAND. This gave me an opportunity to try out the scrounging rules, and also the Compose rules that I posted to the XIG forum. These worked out quite well for a first test, and it gave the players some interaction time as they tried to think up song titles, and worked together to make the Compose and Lyrics tests. The songs, as I recall were:
Raygun Girlfriend, J. Heroin, A. Bassist : Difficulty 2/+2 Awe
Hallo Spaceboy/girl (Mauni's Song), M. Demo, Mauni : Difficulty 2/+2 Awe
The Whole Shebang, A. Bassist : Difficulty 2/+1 Awe ("It's been done," remarked Maxwell sardonically.)
And the band name? Well lots of suggestions were made, but the winning entry was HOSTILE CHICKEN!
I also had the club owner at the Cat's Eye (one Reg Blanco) insist on Musician's Licenses before they could sign up ("I've got to have your Mother-May-I's, don't I then loves?"). Of course, nobody had one. But a friendly forger offered to whip some up by modifing Ministery of S&C pinball permits.
I required a beauracracy check to make it through the S&C offices. This became known as the "pinball written test", as Johnny H. blew his check and was allowed to take the "skills test" instead. Maxwell also had trouble with the forms, but charmed a young impressionable clerk into helping him out.
And finally, it was time to rock. The band managed to patch together the shoddy kit they got from a mob dealer into something servicible, and Mauni, who had become friends with Johnny H. over a tab of Ball Lightning came to the rescue when Johnny's guitar collapsed in a heap of kindling on a botched repair check. Seems Mauni had this most marvelous guitar stashed in an abandoned warehouse. Where *does* a street kid get kit like that? "Brought it from home" he says!
Needless to say, Hostile Chicken rocked the house and won the day. I was dubious about the notion of "rocking out" by slapping cards down the table, but everbody was pumped up by that point, so with the assistance of an impromtu light show powered by Mauni, the band score a whopping 29 awe for their set. Nobody had less than a King on the last song of the set ("The Whole Shebang" of course) And Mauni and Johny Reb were reunited, and yadda, and yadda. Cue "Wicked Little Town".
Player Thoughts
Clinton: I, too, was frustrated with the combat, and I generally like combat. It was the one part of the system I found to be inelegant and downright overloaded with extraneous rules. Things like Sharpness, and preparation, and whatnot got in the way of having a great time. Given the chance, I would make combat a very simple action, with each attempt either missing, whomping a guy good, knocking him down, or putting him out.
The Action Deck is what really started to bother me. I get the point, but it's a layer of rules that really slows things down. Using it for songs might be a good idea, though.
Additional GM Thoughts
The Man and players alike had a bit of trouble keeping track of the card mechanics and figuring out at any given point exactly what options they had. I think with more play the system would get smoother, but it certainly is a hurdle. As the Man, I kept getting misled by the face values of the players cards. And twists are definately necessary to give the players an out when the cards turn against them.
The combat also seemed to drag on, and I couldn't figure out what to do with boosts scored in combat. I started adding them to damage, but being as I found at brawling combat to be fairly slow, I think I might entertain using them as a multiplier instead. I think I'll be putting together some rules questions for posting to the XIG forum.
Anyway, thanks to all my brave players, and look for the Hostile Chicken demo EP under the counter at all your favorite media shops.

The Shadow of Yesterday[edit]

Game System
The Shadow of Yesterday
Pitch
Game Master
Clinton Nixon
Players
Wilhelm, Matt Wilson, ?
Characters
Date
March 31, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Wilhelm: Clinton ran us through a short adventure for his new "in progress" game, The Shadow of Yesterday. Its a FRPG designed in the "Fantasy Heartbreaker" tradition of "Let's do D&D one better." Clinton fully acknowledges it borrows from many sources, for me it brought echos of classic Traveller and Tunnels & Trolls.

Some of the key elements of the system are a 2d6 success roll that is modified by adding bonus or penalty dice, from which you take the highest or lowest two, depending on whether you are operating under a bonus or a penalty. Also, attributes are not used to modify rolls, but instead are resource pools that let you buy extra dice to roll or power magical effects.

The story involed a rag tag band under the leadership of a despised and cowardly yet good hearted bard that had to fetch water from the Queen of Fire to save the life of King Khale. I got to play a cool little sorcerous goblin. We fought and snake and had some palace intrigue. We did eventually succeed in our goal, but only after the bard lost his pants and got chomped on the behind by a very nasty magical mastiff.

TSOY looks like the start of a fun little RPG in the "old skool" tradition, yet with some very neat ideas tucked away in it. I look forward to seeing how it grows.

Player Thoughts
Matt: You roll 2d6, and add your relevant skill, and compare to a success-level chart that's about as difficult to grasp as Fudge. Yes, I mean to say that it's easy.
One of the cooler bits of the game is the idea of Secrets, which are something like Feats, I guess, in that they sometimes grant special abilities. But there are also "key secrets," which determine how that character gains experience. For example, my character had "the Secret of Cowardice." If I managed to avoid a conflict, I gained XP.
I was the bard, Nevins. Man, I just realized poor Nevins was also sans pants when the queen of fire scorched him. Ouch. Burned in front, bitten in back. The village is going to think he was on spring break or something. "Bards gone Wild!"
Additional GM Thoughts

Duel of Ages[edit]

Game System
Duel of Ages (board game)
Pitch
Game Master
Clinton Nixon
Players
Characters
Date
March 24, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

Pantheon[edit]

Game System
Pantheon
Pitch
Game Master
Alan Barclay
Players
Characters
Date
March 17, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

Universalis[edit]

Game System
Universalis
Pitch
Game Master
Wilhelm
Players
Characters
Date
March 10, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

Swashbuckler[edit]

Game System
Jolly Roger's Swashbuckler
Pitch
Game Master
Wilhelm Fitzpatrick
Players
Laura, Donald, Kerrie
Characters
Andre, and sauve French swordsman with a penchant for getting stabbed (Donald), Vanessa, a French adventuress (Laura), and Maria, a mysterious Spaniard (Kerrie)
Date
March 3, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Wilhelm: Fortunately, its a great, and very cinematic combat sytem. The players use cards to select combat manuvers from a set they have selected for their character, and opposing manuevers are cross-indexed to get a modifier on an opposed roll of d20s. Once we got the hang of things, I think it moved relatively fast for a combat system of that detail. It certainly led to some atmospheric dueling.
The players honored a dying man's wish to return his "greatest treasure" to his homeland. Along the way, they fought bandits, engaged in a midnight chase on horseback, gambled with scum, and learned new uses for goats. They even got a chance to go in against Sicilians when death was on the line.
After my experience running Swashbuckler as is, I think I'm going to look at marrying the combat system with FGU's old "Flashing Blades" for what ought to be truely fine derring-do.
Player Thoughts
Kerrie: Erm, yes, the gambling. Had a bit too much fun with my character there tonight :)
The goats were awesome...and popped up in the strangest of places, including an old woman's string of curses.
Additional GM Thoughts

BPRD (Hellboy)[edit]

Game System
Godlike
Pitch
Game Master
John
Players
Characters
Date
February 24, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

Miles Christi[edit]

Game System
Miles Christi
Pitch
a French RPG of Templars in the Holy Land vs. Saladin.
Game Master
Brian
Players
Laura, Wilhelm, Donald
Characters
Brother Lambert (Laura), Brother Marcel (Will), and Brother Guy (Donald)
Date
February 24, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Donald: By my hand this 27th day of April, the Year of Our Lord One Thousand, One Hundred Seventy-four.
My Beloved Father:
Your loyal and loving son Guy hopes this finds you in good health. I write to apprise you of recent events here in the Holy Land, where I believe I have acquitted myself well in my first relatively independent assignment with the Knights of the Temple since taking my vows to the Order and making the long journey here from Charlac.
As you know from my previous letters, my first few weeks in Jerusalem were, not to overstate matters, most uneventful. I attended my duties, received issue of uniform and equipment, was introduced to my squire (how short a time it seems since I was squired myself!), and established myself in the routines of the Chapter house here. I had gotten to know most of the other young Templars who arrived with me during the long ship voyage from Genoa to Joppa (in between times of various of us being sick from the sea), and I was pleased to find that, when the time came, I was placed with Brother Lambert and Brother Marcel (you remember Marcel, third son of Le Comte de Chambourg, who was always into so much trouble at tournaments and festivals).
Our assignment, with much of the force of the Knights Templar and Knights Hospitaler in this land concentrated on the campaign northward to Galilee (there to oppose the Saracen legions under their new Emir, Sala'adin), was to take our squires, three sergeants, and thirty turkopols to reinforce the fortress at Ashot's Ford, as well as bringing them additional pigeons. There had been a report of Saracen activity in their region, and then no more word, and it was thought that they might require assistance and perhaps have lost any remaining birds they had still homed on Jerusalem.
In the course of three days and part of a fourth we did ride from Jerusalem, past the Dead Sea and southward up the river which flows into that Sea from the end opposite that where Jordan enters, stopping one night in ruins, one with a minor encampment of Templars, and one at a Coptic monastery where, despite their heresy, we were shown all Christian courtesy, invited to share Mass, and allowed to view their holy relic, a vial of the tears of St. John the Baptist.
Before noon on the fourth day, we reached the fortress, which we found in a much reduced condition. Vultures (foul, grim visaged birds bigger than the great Alsatian eagles, they are, and eaters of carrion) circled high above the walls, good Christian soldiers gambled in plain sight without shame, and brother Templars violated their vows and took up the bow to hunt the vile avians, yet seldom ever succeeded in smiting them from the sky for that they flew nearly beyond the reach of a dart.
We had no more than called out for entry to the fortress than the Captain, Brother Anselem, came forth and bade us return to Jerusalem, lest our very souls be damned; he would not, he said, take the lives and souls of any more men upon his conscience. Still...
(remainder of the missive is illegible, obliterated by blood stains or washed from the parchment by water)
The entire game structure of Miles Christi lends itself to putting the player into the mind set of a Templar -- to the point where we players found ourselves, while the GM was away from the table, still discussing our situation in character. This was the best game I've ever played in that respect; the resolution is simple and direct, and character creation isn't excessively complex (we were easily able to finish in under an hour, with none of us three players having ever seen the game before and a requirement for many repetitions of details as we worked at different rates) and it is overall very atmospheric; a few simple words on the character sheet served as perfectly adequate reminders of the vows and duties of a Templar of the late 12th century. And while I normally don't enjoy in-game religion very much, this particular take on historic Catholicism wasn't obtrusive and, beyond being a necessity to the setting, fit in very well with the general feel of the game.
I'm very impressed indeed!
Player Thoughts
Laura: This game was very sucessful, in my opinion. As I said, I enjoy games that use cards. It's a different experience from dice, in some cases causing yout to use strategy as well as the chance element.
Wilhelm: Yes, I liked this aspect of the system as well. I especially liked the way the system was used for "Gifts", the ability of brothers to occasionally ask God for a miracle. This is done by laying down a high card for one of your regular actions, then deliberately setting it aside unused and drawning a new card to replace it in the action. In order to build toward a possible blessing in the future, you are forced to take risks now. Very thematic in execution.
Laura: The character creation is very conductive to really getting a grasp of the setting and your character.
Wilhelm: Very much so. The basis of character generation is selecting three archtypes representing your characters youth, squire training, and knighthood. The archtypes are respectively animals, mythic heros, and christian heros. These archetypes influence your characters attributes, skills, and personality. For example Brother Marcel (my character) had as his archtypes the Horse, Achilles, and Gawain, leading him to be impetuous, brave, and passionate. He excelled physically, but lacked refinement.
The advancement system is also cool, as you gain skills and traits by acting in accordance with them, and you lose points by acting against them. Your character must "confess his sins", and failure to do so causes the penalties to increase, thus leading you as a player to always be considering your behavior, which very much helps you to get into the character mindset.
Laura: We three knights of the temple were sent as reinforcements to an outpost in the middle of nowhere. When we reached the fort the Commander told us to go back, he had not called for reinforcements as he feared to damn anyone else's soul. We saw a brother killed by vultures as we tried to save him.
Wilhelm: Technically it was a sargent, not a brother. One thing I noticed myself picking up on quickly was the class distinctions within the game. One aspect of play I enjoyed was that there was opportunties for the characters to operate both on their own, and also function as sort of "squad leaders". This made playing out the siege very involving and enjoyable for me.
I'll add to the memorable moments Brother Marcel covering the retreat of his men after the Saracens broke through the ford by standing fast and giving out a miraculous shout that deafened and paniced the oncoming Saracen horse long enough for him to make his escape. As the GM said later, "I thought we were going to have a martyrdom there."
I sincerely hope that at some future date it will be possible to publish the english version of this game. I'd certainly line up to buy it :) I'd say it falls into the category of what Ron Edwards would call a High Concept Sim, and it definately encourages and rewards the use of Actor stance.
Laura: Some memorable moments:
Brother Marcel riding back barely ahead of a dozen Sacarens.
The commander refusing shelter to pilgrims and allowing Marcel to escort them to a nearby Coptic Monestary, but if he wasn't back by sunset he'd be flogged. Marcel and Guy's preperation for seige by the sacrans. The crazy old man I found behind a mill stone who told us the story of the curse on the place. Me and a small group of Turkustans capturing the Sacren's large catapult and using it on them.
Additional GM Thoughts
That was quite a missive! I'm really glad everyone enjoyed the game. Now I've got more motivation to try & get it published here in the States...

Universalis[edit]

Game System
Universalis
Pitch
Game Master
Laura
Players
Characters
Date
February 17, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

Paladin[edit]

Game System
Paladin
Pitch
Game Master
Clinton Nixon
Players
Laura, Joe, Brian Malcolm, ?
Characters
6
Date
February 17, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Clinton: Um... it went interestingly. I'm not nearly awake enough to go into full detail, but all six players created great paladin characters, and then, in a game about holy warriors, we saw the brutality and horror of a morally absolute system at work.
One group of characters went off to prevent a war, and had to fight off the undead general of the invading lord's armies, who nearly killed one character, until the other two jumped him at the same time.
The other group went to calm down a town where the local lord had been slain by powers unknown and unrest grew.
In the first case, the characters put most of the town to the sword, which is just vicious, and totally in character. In the second, I saw the first thematically-appropriate suicide in a game, as Alan's character fell from a 100-foot rock drop rather than take the hand of an evil Witch that would save him. Meanwhile, the other two characters basically forced an entire town to confess their sins and rat out their brethren.
All in all, it was thoroughly disturbing for the GM.
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

The Riddle of Steel[edit]

Game System
The Riddle of Steel
Pitch
Game Master
Alan Barclay
Players
Characters
Date
February 17, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

Pax Draconis[edit]

Game System
Pax Draconis
Pitch
Game Master
Justin Dagna
Players
Wilhelm, Alan, Sally
Characters
Courier - A "fixer" in cyberpunk terms (Wilhelm); Savant - A "psion" of sorts (Sally); Treebor muscleman - Big tough alien guy (Alan)
Date
February 10, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Wilhelm: The scenario was the now classic "shady people need to figure out how to break into dubious building and steal macguffin" of cyberpunk/shadowrun fame. But it gave us a good opportunity to see the system in action. According to Justin, Pax Draconis tries to provide as much "realism" as possible while still trying to keep the rules simple and fast. Based on my experience with the game, I think he's succeed pretty well.
Combat ran very quickly a smoothly, with a simple phased initiative type system, spiced up by giving each character an "interrupt" action they could use to go out of sequence, which kept everybody on their toes. Figuring out what you were rolling against was very easy, as skills simply enable you to roll against an appropriate attribute, with possible situation modifiers. My favorite twist to the combat system was the possibility of a character becoming incapacitated temporarily due to shock or pain, and having to "pull them selves together" to get on the fight. I personally got experience this mechanic as my character spent several round rolling around on the floor after getting shot in the foot. Reminds me a little of Twilight 2000, portraying the idea the most people aren't going to be relentless terminators until they are knocked out or killed (only giant alien musclemen are like that :)
It was interesting to play Pax Draconis right on the heels of reading Ron Edward's essay on Simulationism over at the Forge. I'd say Pax Draconis perfectly fulfills the definition of a High Concept Simulationist game, and in a very tidy way. Overall, an enjoyable game.
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

System Failure[edit]

Game System
System Failure/Palladium
Pitch
Game Master
Mark Hughes
Players
Laura, John Harper, Donald, Clinton
Characters
Date
February 10, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Player Thoughts
John: Thanks to Mark and the other players for a memorable Systems Failure game last night. We managed to play a Palladium product, and it didn't suck! Amazing.
Laura: I had a great time, and for the first time ever I had a dream based on the game. Earth was going to be invaded and some of us knew about it. In my dream someone suddenly shouted "It's happening now" and we saw smoke and ran for the hills. The weirdes part was that the invaders were using old ships and floating them in the sky. I think it was influenced by the old Starblazer cartoon.
Donald: Character creation was a bit, um, confusing (especially trying to get through it with time to actually play), but the rather odd chargen sequence produced a pretty playable character. The game itself looked like it would be interesting for a longer term campaign -- I don't know anything about other Palladium products, but Systems Failure is one I'd have to consider if an invitation went out to join a long running game.
And, for myself, it was quite refreshing to leave angst-ridden characters behind and play a relatively straightforward Exterminator character, whose only significant regret in life was that the world melted down before his high school team could make it to the state championships.
Additional GM Thoughts
I should have made pregens, especially since I only had the one book, but it worked out okay, and you found out what Palladium chargen is like (slow, but usually functional). You all did well getting through it that quickly--I've lost entire sessions to newbies plowing through chargen and trying to dot every "i" and cross every "t".
<shudder>
And poor Clinton's "learn to be a ninja by mail"... Low-level HTH combat pales before gunfire, but that changes at higher levels. Gun dudes don't get much better, while HTH gets more and more badass.
Other than that, once you get in play it's a fast and simple set of rules.

Ring of Thieves[edit]

Game System
Risus
Pitch
I'm planning to run a one-shot Risus fantasy adventure of my own devising. I'll be bringing a complete copy of the rules we'll be using for each player (I can handle up to five), and you can read the rules and create a character in under ten minutes (unless you're a very slow reader or truly indecisive). Bring dice -- common six sided are all you'll need, and not more than a half dozen at once; we won't be using Funky Dice for this adventure. Do bring a pencil, eraser, and an open mind, however -- after reading the game pretty carefully, I think it might amaze people how much game you can fit in three pages plus a couple paragraphs of add-ons.
Game Master
Donald Qualls
Players
Laura, Kevin P., Kevin S., and Alan
Characters
4: A Beastmaster Bard who was raised by wolves until the age of 12 (Laura), A British Dragon Samuri (Kevin S), A dominatrix Necromancer (Alan), and the Ninja Viking who was also raised by wolves (Kevin P.)
Date
January 27, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Donald: My adventure was a sort of cliched generic dungeon crawl, IMO perfectly befitting the flavor of Risus as a "Universal Comedy System" -- characters met in a tavern, got their first lead from a barmaid, and charged straight on through tunnels, traps, and wave after wave of guards. Unfortunately, because of the time required to create characters in a system unfamiliar to everyone at the table (well, less so to the GM), we ran overtime and I had to cut the adventure short -- perhaps I can run this adventure again another Monday night and find some way to speed up character creation (though I still don't much like the idea of pregens or even templates -- they're pretty opposite much of the idea behind Risus).
I can also say that, after playing Risus, I think it would make a fine system for a more serious long term campaign, though some optional rules would be needed with the major comedy element of "inappropriate cliches" removed. Best of all, nearly any source materials or existing campaign would convert quickly an easily -- no conversion of stats is required, because Risus doesn't use 'em, and once you're familiar with the system, it takes only a few minutes to create any character. Still, even with all the optional rules for a serious fantasy campaign gathered together, every rule in use would still run to no more than a dozen or so pages -- and the resulting game every bit as good as AD&D was twenty-five years ago.
Player Thoughts
Laura: Thanks for running it. I had a blast. It was great for comedy, and we certainly were all in a silly mood last night. Some of my favorite moments were:
Lord Kas, the Samuri, and my character Agatha sitting down to a healing cup of tea after fighting some guards, Gundar, the Viking Ninja finding that he could actually hide behind Lord Kas. Sardia, the Necormancer, talking about making clothes out of dragon skin and Lord Kas offering to shed some for her. And then there was are own small horde of two zombies which helped us beat up all their former friends!
Kevin S.: My personal favorite moments were the "innapropriate cliche" defenses, especially Lord Raz's successful use of his "Upper Class British" cliche to defend against the guards bursting in on his and Laura's character's tea break. Although as Alan pointed out, at the end I was channeling John Cleese, but it was all in good fun.
I also like Gundar's clever use of turning the horns in his helmet upside down to hide the fact that he was a viking ninja.
Additional GM Thoughts

The Pool[edit]

Game System
The Pool
Pitch
Game Master
Clinton Nixon
Players
Characters
Date
January 27, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

Riddle of Steel[edit]

Game System
The Riddle of Steel
Pitch
Game Master
Alan Barclay
Players
Clinton Nixon, Kevin Schulz
Characters
2
Date
January 20, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Alan: We buckled some swashes I think. I can't remember the last time a combat system gave me visions of fast clashing action and a racing pulse - when I was the GM! I don't want to give away details of the plot - because I'd like to run it again for people on this list - so please forgive a the lack of detailed narrative. I'll try to capture a few instances though. I can see where the game would give the impression that swashbuckler won't work - the combat system, by itself is sudden and bloody. But if you haven't role-played the Spiritual Attributes, you haven't seen the heart of the game.
SA's are emotional drives defined by the player. When he role-plays action in line with an SA, he can earn a point for it. When a task, like fighting, involves one or more SA, they contribute bonus dice to the task. SAs are also be spent to improve the character's abilities.
Earlier on, pursuing SAs created some amusing events. For example, Fergus (motivated by memories of his own unrequited love) was engaged in trying to play Cyrano for the dour and depressed young noble from the north - who wanted to woo a lady destined to be the death of many men. At the same time, Roland was trailing kidnappers, taking names, and all out of bubblegum.
The bonus dice make all the difference in combat. In the final battle to save a noble from kidnapping, Roland (Clinton) and Fergus (Kevin) were getting 3-8 extra dice from things like "Destiny to defend a kingdom", "Drive to serve my lord", etc. Meanwhile the kidnappers had no active SAs in the situation and got pasted. Even my fancy French duelist, who was set up with SAs that activate competing with another gentleman was defeated - all because the two PCs were commoners! And the combat system allowed an interesting end to his battle - Roland took a chance on downing him with a punch, instead of killing him with a weapon, and boxed his larynx. So Antoine, gasping on his knees, surrendered.
Writing the adventure was a lot of fun and I'm pleased how well it turned out. I'd be happy to run it again for other players.
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

FREEDOM, WVa[edit]

FREEDOM, WVa "movie poster"
Game System
All Flesh Must Be Eaten
Pitch
Game Master
Kevin Perrine
Players
Pete playing Dimitri
JoeZ playing Virgil
 ??? playing Forest
Lynn playing Calvin
Wilhelm playing Edgar
Laura playing Sara
Characters (aka. "our cast")
Dimitri: russian college friend / scientist.
Virgil: Tim's long lost brother and notorious Biker.
Forest: college buddy, now Tree Hugger type.
Calvin: 15 yr old Goth kid, taking pictures of the dying Tim.
Edgar: Youth Pastor and guitar playing friend to Tim.
Sara: childhood friend, now police officer.
Date
January 20, 2003
Technical & Pre-Game Notes
I plan to have the basics of several archetypes from the books.

I've trimmed them all down to the NORM level for this playtest session. If have the book and you'd like to make your own character and bring it - go ahead, but be sure and use the NORM rules... I'd also stay away from the supernatural powers (stuff using Essence) unless you clear it with me prior to Monday.

For background:

My base idea is that the PCs are all coming into town to have ONE LAST HURRAH with an old friend that's dying from cancer... He's checking himself out for the weekend and you'll be partying like it's 1999 to celebrate his life. So characters can be from anytime/place from your friend's life (High School, College, Work, a walkabout in Europe, etc...), the only real requisite is that you're his friend (or family). :-)

Archetype I have are:

Alcoholic, Athlete, Beautician, Biker, Business Man, Butcher, Cheerleader, Tree Hugger, Criminal, Goth, Hacker, Hustler, Musician, Priest, Reporter, Rural, Scientist, Store Clerk, Teacher / Academic. If you have requests for something else I can write it up for you...

Recaps
check out threads around the SGA Yahoo Group starting here
10 folks made it out for the evening... Alan ran "Riddle of Steel". Kevin ran "All Flesh Must Be Eaten" (zombie game).
Player Thoughts
Ok that was alot of fun! It more than met my expectations. The only problem is the group (including the ZM) was so involved and did such a great job that i have no idea if the game mechanics were good. I've roleplayed for about 12 years now and i must say that SGA members tend to do a wonderful job playing their characters even if they didnt create them. I feel like an amature everytime. My favorite part was realised as my character when flying off the car that we were all headed to my SUV and not only do i have the keys but im the only one who knows the zombies weekness. other good moments included the tree hugger screaming somthing about death to toxic waste and charging in, the goth kid snaping photos of the zombies, the youth pastor thinking hes the right hand of god for a moment, the cop useing a flag pole as a weapon, and of course the biker fending off a little zombie with a teddy bear. -pete
I also had a great time. You have so much great energy Kev. You really got the zombie movie feeling going with your opening description of the semi truck driving down the highway outside of town! I also had fun with the improvised weapons. Calvin sticking Mr. Wiffle in the head with the check holder. Sarah accidently flinging Mrs. Wiffle at her friend with the West Virginia State flag, Whoops -- Laura
I thought the story was excellent. Unfortunately the amount of set up cut down on the time we were able to spend bashing Zombies, but it did also provide a good "normality anchor" to drive home the gruesomeness when the dead started walking. Part of it was simply dealing with the fact that since Monday night games are oneshots, we were on a limited time budget. They, um, kinda shambled? I found the rules system rather banal, and not particularly contributing to the genre, but they didn't inhibit it either. For example, I like the idea of open ended die rolls, but the AFMBE version of them just seemed like a clunky implementation of a good idea. I thought it worked well, and jumping between characters kept everybody involved. I really admired your effort to keep things moving quickly. It seems like the AFMBE combat system could be prone to bogging down if not carefully managed. For the most part we avoided that. The frenetic narration style you adopted was excellent. Really helped set the mood. Or are you always like that? Keeping the lifepoints hidden was a good idea. I was actually surprised when Dimitry went down, and I had no idea how badly Forest was hurting. I think love of Zombies transcends all barriers. "I kick ass for the LORD!" from the fine Peter Jackson film "Dead Alive". Which everybody should run out and watch. That or "Meet the Feebles". Both fine films. As good as "Lord of the Rings." Really. Trust Me. -- Wilhelm
I think if one person really jumps into character everyone else starts to follow along. Also kev you were really into it and kept the pace moving so we didnt have time to think about turning every situation into a pun. I think dead time is when i personaly start thinking of jokes. I love and hate opening sceens. I love them in that every game ive ever played with one has been an intresting story, usualy done by a good story teller and does a great job of keeping players motivated and intrested. I hate them because i have yet to see an open ended game that used them well. Games that use open sceens or movie style sceens are usualy built around a story and not the characters, however you cant really build a one shot around the characters. The beauty of the one shot is in that players are willing to be more heroic and go out with a bang rather than worry about losing this character they have played for a year. love it! one of the reasons i love shadowrun so much is the ability to burn a karma pool point for an automatic success I agree (lifepoints secret), one of the reason i like games that gauge damage on light vs serrious and things of that nature is that as a player im not tempted to say im ok i got 20 hit points ill use it when i get to 5 (yes i have munchkin temptations i must resist) As a GM though i try to let players keep track of most things because im lazy and i dont want to take the time im already tracking for the 20 bad guys. idealy though a GM should always discribe how bad a player is hurt and players shouldnt know stuff like i can take 2 more hits from a longsword. -- Pete
Additional GM Thoughts
6 folks had planned to play "All Flesh" for the evening. I handed out templates to choose from and we got the game rolling...

The mandatory piece for the evening was to come up with your connection to one: Timmy Coffin... our dying friend, who we were all coming into town for one last HURRAH to celebrate. The Town... a little place we like to call - "Freedom, WVa".

Some key things I wanted to mention:
  • I planned just too much, and missed some stuff but I don't think it effected the game so much. I tried using "bullet counters" for the players and I kept all the life points for the characters to add some dramatics to injuries taken...
  • the players get a standing ovation from me... you guys did EXCELLENT! And Will - your girlfriend (forgot her name again damnit!) was incredible for not playing RPGs.
  • My Favorite Quote: "I'm kicking Zombie Ass in the name of the LORD!"
  • My favorite character Moment: tie between - Dimitri shot off the top of the police car into the store window and all that followed or Calvin using one of those pointy things you put checks on in restaurants to impale the Zombie Mr. Whipple's brain!!
  • My favorite NPC Moment: that poor little Zombie boy with teddy bear in his footy pajamas...
  • I was thinking of sharing my "preperation notes" if anyone is interested in talking about GMing and how you prepare for games, and show mine as an example. Anyone interested?
Zombie Stuff (was Monday (Jan 20) - How it went)
Sometimes players throw me as the GM. I was stuttered when

Joe really jumped into character (with Virgil) there at the begining and then everyone jumped in FAST. I forgot how excited some folks get. Even Lynn!! who is new to RPGs... just incredibly great. To make this relevant (enough butt kissing)... Why do you think that happens in some games? and then others lead to, not enough roleplaying - or just go silly with comedic reference - or are just bad...?

[on Dimitri flying and dying] True - that was epic (and unplanned for the most part).

I had waited all game to share that flashback with someone (that I thought would be appropriate) and I picked the PERFECT person. LONG LIVE DIMITRI!!

I always worry about my "opening scenes" have never NOT ran

a game without opening with some sort of opening scene.... I can't imagine starting a game anymore without that cool opening sequence that always comes prior to the titles and theme song (for movies or TV shows). It's stuff you wouldn't need to know (as players) and stuff you have to firewall as characters (because you technically didn't see it) but sometimes somepeople just don't understand what/ why I'm doing those openings... it also hopefully sets you into the tone of the game universe - starting up your disbelief engine. When I've done it best - they really add to the overall game. I just can't open a game straight to the PCs sitting around a table anymore.

[on Monday Night Short-Shot time budget]

I was trying to watch the clock to plan WHEN to get beyond the set up time. I was doing okay (everyone was in town at at the bar by 8pm) but then the length of time coming out of your rooms slowed down.... and then the group splitting slowly and then getting back together slowly (after the imminent dangers) rolled the game for about 2 hours. Which took up to near 10pm. and I hadn't done any of the stuff from outside (the chooper, the dogs, the rats, the bear, the bikers returning, the State trooper, etc...) I wouldn't change it much though - the set up was excellently played... I just wish we would have had 1-2 hours more or a second game session so that I could draw out some of the stuff I crammed in at the end. the one-shot time was limiting... but for me I'm learning with it. I had NEVER ran a one-shot game before. Combine that with the first time running AFMBE and I'm okay with the outcome. :-)

[on rules] I actually like the "Uni-system" as a rules set. Even though

they're not genre specific I think they simulate the world type well... and you're not afraid of rolling the dice. I look at little "gimmicks" like the re-rolling 10s and 1s as just that - Gimmicks.... to set the game further apart from all the other D? + Attribute + Skill = difficulty number games. My only wish... I worried sometimes (as player and GM) that in a game if you NEED to succeed at something and you have no way to help that (other than your roll) it can be hindering. I sort of wish ALL games would include a "hero point" type mechanic (seen in: Adventure!, Deadlands, MnM, 7th Seas, etc...) even if the cost is high, to help with those situations... Actually - Buffy RPG does have these "Drama Points" and it's a trimmed down Uni-system lite game...

[on frenetic narration style]

I do try to go "on-stage" when GMing. I figure - if the players see that I'm okay with making a fool out of myself in front of them by acting the parts and such then they will feel more open to playing their characters to the hilt. Lead by example kinda play... but no - normally I'm more reserved. a little goofy fun sometimes... I don't know that'd be a fun question for me to have answered by Joe or Laura - since they "know me" from other games and outside of games... Guys??

[on Keeping the lifepoints hidden]

Dimitri went down HARD... the throw through the window from the speeding police car crash was: D6 per yard (based on falling) with some "terminal velocity" (up to x50) involved = my roll of, (D6 x 4 slashing) x2 ... which brought him down 24 points (my roll was a 3), then the 4 Zombies ripping at his head (D4 x4 slashing) x2 forced him forced him below -10... making him roll a Survival check. If he failed he was dead. he succeeded so he lived for another minute - then you guys helped him a little stopping the Survival checks for the moment... Forest was in bad shape (hope I described that well enough) he was down to 17 of his 34 LPs prior to getting some first aid bringing him up to 24. One or two more good shots and he would have went down (from a Zombie - a gun would have killed him most likely) hence... I really liked the effect and modifiers that damage did... I like the effect of multiples slashing/stabbing and bullets do alot! It really forces the survival aspect. Minor note - all the damage everyone did to any Zombie was ignored (unless it hit the brain) A "chop" to a leg/arm for 15 points total would have severed them... but that never happened. :-)

Now that I think about it I think it REALLY REALLY matters that

all the participants are open (if not excited) to try the game. Or to try playing with the GM or players no matter the game. Now that I think about it - every game that I've played or ran in which all the participant WERE NOT willing to forgo any doubts about the game (or GM or players) and be way open to making the experience fun for everyone (ie. NOT just themselves!), they've all ended up sucking really bad. sometimes playing with the same players for any long time can build weird assumptions that carry across to any other game you play with them. Sometimes it doesn't. weird... I think if the GM plans and doesn't get lazy with them (or the game) you can continue these right through. For example - if we were to continue the Zombie game I'd probably begin each "episode" like a TV show... First the "PREVIOUSLY on ..." describing last week's actions (and KEY moments or clues from past games). then move into a quick fun pre-titles scene with either the PCs in a short shot scene (setting up something or media res) or plan something showing the bad guys or other events that will lead into the game later... I think everyone gets to that point after playing for a time... I used to HATE rules and figuring them out. I'm still not the best at it but I know the things I like to KNOW before playing a new game. Like: what controls initiative, what the scores you need to be average are (to gauge yourself), etc.. etc... I'm feeling this way more and more these days. It is a LOT to track as a GM but I felt the Zombie game was better because the players just didn't know... It also helped that I didn't have to track bad guy DeadPoints because they only counted if hit in the brain. :-) that's another COOL thing that the Uni-system lite has going for it.... Its not in AFMBE, but in it's spin off rules for Buffy RPG the GM doesn't even have to roll in combat (NPC) situations. The bads have single numbers to compare the PC's roll to (either hitting or dodging) . So it would be easier to track the LifePoints. I'm really seeing that I LIKED the AFMBE Uni-System more than I thought.

Shadowrun[edit]

Game System
Shadowrun
Pitch
Game Master
Pete
Players
Laura,
Characters
A Physical Adept elf Steel Orchid(Laura), Orc Rat Shaman called Fang and a cybered up street samurai
Date
January 14, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Laura: The module is written by one of the original D&D guys and it's a lot like a D&D dungeon crawl done as Shadowrun. The first part takes place in the Tacoma sewers and the GM is supposed to roll for a random encounter at each tunnel crossing. I've never seen anyone roll for random encounters in SR before :). The GM in our game decided not to roll every time. We only ran into two different groups of Orcs and two ghouls. Who would of thought the sewer was so crowded.
It did work for one night, mainly becuase we skipped through some parts. I think it gave the two newbies a good idea of how the game goes. It was a rather silly module, I think it's better for one shots then as part of an ongoing game.
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts
Seeing how i ran it i may as well say somthing DNA/DOA is not one of the better ones but it is the first one writen (not by time line though) The two harliquins and the two (i think theres two) ones that deal with Deus are considerd the best. The neat things about all the adventures good or bad is that like the living series by wizards, these are events that did happen in the universe. Next month ill probably try running "Mecurial" ,if any are intested, which i feel is a average or above average one, characters to be basied on the point system rather than priorities (we did the priorities last time) Mercurial is actualy a two parter so depending on time we may quit early or try to squeeze through the whole thing. Mecurial is the first one acording to timeline.

Spaceship Zero[edit]

Game System
Spaceship Zero
Pitch
Game Master
Mark Hughes
Players
Kevin, Alan, ?
Characters
Date
January 14, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Mark:
The good:
I described everything in a low-budget sci-fi manner--the planet scenes are all in a rock quarry, and though the players didn't push on the parts where they'd find out, the ship set is made of plywood. That'd be edited out for broadcast, of course.
The system is fast and simple; there's no rules at all to remember, really. Most complication-free game I've used in a very long time.
The players were just using templates, and still got really into character, hamming it up. Cheesy sci-fi all the way. It brings out the right stuff in people.
The bad:
It's hard to kill anything in one shot, unless you just use ZM fiat to say "he's dead". That's not entirely bad, but the super-modern weapons just aren't super enough. I might halve the number of Body Points you get.
Rolling skills too often is bad, because you have low percentages. So I used two kinds of tests: 1) Simple tests, where you would always succeed unless you rolled 00, but the skill roll tells me how well or badly for descriptive effect; 2) Stress tests, where you can fail drastically.
But if you don't roll skills often, you don't get to test those Zero skills and earn many Zero Points. What I'm going to do for long-term play is allow players to buy 1 Zero Point for 1 EP, once per session. I might also give out 2 ZP every time you roll a 0 when testing a Zero skill, since it didn't happen enough.
The optional:
I'm strongly considering adapting the TORG Drama Deck over to it, to enhance the cinematic feel even more.
The episode:
I fast-forwarded them through the destruction of the universe, and they came out near Tau Ceti, with systems damage to the Bendall Field and the BTL drive, and low on supplies. After a few false navigation starts by the Robot, they land on Tau Ceti IV: The Rock Quarry Planet, a couple miles from a habitation of some sort.
The Captain and Scientist send the Robot out to investigate, but unfortunately the Robot becomes lost. Finally all going out, they find that the camp consists of wood barracks and a shiny dome, with human prisoners digging in the rock, while human "trustees" with human prods keep them working, and hybrid overseers watch the trustees, armed with guns.
They sneak in, well, except that the Captain's none too good at that sneaking stuff, and are captured by would-be rebels among the slaves. After a bit of a scuffle, the Captain is recognized as the reincarnation of the "Chosen One", and they are brought into the barracks.
After a bit of "if someone asks you if you're a god, you say *YES*"-ness, the slaves are rallied into a fighting force of sorts, and an ambush is prepared for the next day.
Well, after a slightly bloody charge at the trustees and a horrifyingly bloody charge into the disintegrators of the Hydronauts (I'd expected them to pick off many of the Hydronauts first, oops), 169 of the original 206 slaves were killed, but the 37 survivors have been liberated and armed, and the Captain slowly restored their confidence and determination to free the rest of the slaves on Tau Ceti, while the Robot located the next slave colony. I made the world's simplest mass combat rules, just determining how many trustees, hybrids, and hydronauts a slave could kill per 2 turns, and vice versa.
Definitely a pyhrric victory, but that works well for the tone of the show described in the episode guide.
I can't reveal the details in public, but my Universe 2 is pretty variant. After reading the ep guide, I couldn't just do *one* world, I have to give them a whole bunch of strange places to go and universes to blow up before they get to anything like home.
Player Thoughts
Kevin: It's basically a game that you play in the style of the old Sci-Fi radio and TV shows - you know the ones as campy (or more) than Captain Kirk with that styrofoam boulder over his head... Think Captain Video, Buck Rodgers, Flash Gordon and the like. I LOVE that style and time period for short run games... I'm not sure how it would feel running it long term - I'd guess it's best at short shots. The rules however aren't my cup of tea... They work just fine (very similar to the old Basic Roleplaying rules of CoC) but they don't feed into the style of the game much at all... Beyond that I had a great time playing! Mark did a good job giving us the feel of the game... Myself (the befuddled Scientist), Alan (the Robby style robot) and KevinS. (the man's man Captain), found ourselves on a world inwhich humans were being opressed by evil fish overlords... As any Space Corp crew would do, we quickly set ourselves up as Gods and went about freeing the slaves from tyranny (only losing 170 of the original 200)! Much fun was had by all including much GREAT roleplaying by Alan and Kevin really sinking into their roles!!
Alan: Yeah, I thought the fun part of the game was playing the TV SF tropes. After a brief glance at the book, I'd say that the resolution and rewards systems don't really support the genre per se. Character generation certainly provided the right templates, though - including the slave girl who gives others a bonus when sitting in their lap. More rules like that would reinforce the camp.
What suceeded was our understanding of the SF cliches - and I thought Mark's way of describing the planet as " a gravel pit somewhere in England" set a great tone. We joked about standard settings, like the California desert, a deserted industrial plant, or a steam tunnel. I began to envision a game that made these elements part of the rules - and maybe even included reusing parts and sets (remember how the Romulan cloaking device resembled Nomad from The Changelling in ST:OS?)
All in all, I had fun.
Additional GM Thoughts
The Zero Dice would, if you had more of them. I'm definitely using some house rules next time to start PCs out with their max ZD, and get more ZD more often.
But yeah, a very simple percentile system like that is just meant to work and get out of the way, and it doesn't try to be period. Since I grew up playing Star Frontiers, Call of Cthulhu, and Rolemaster, it feels perfectly natural to me.
I think the game works well for an episodic tone. You *could* run a continuous-time campaign, but fast-forwarding through what's happened since the last ep and starting you in the action is more in line with how a TV show works. I was strongly considering having a "commercial break". I didn't try out the "Dramatic Time" rules for only using in-character speech, but that's more for the radio serial.

The Riddle of Steel[edit]

Game System
The Riddle of Steel
Pitch
I'll be running The Riddle of Steel that night. Characters will be pre-generated, and there will be room for four players.
Game Master
Clinton R. Nixon
Players
Laura, Gabriel, Pete, Ryan
Characters
4
Date
January 6, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Gabriel: For my first time at the Game Night, I had a blast. We started out on my ship. I was the captain, Virgil. An explorer. We are first attacked by a Sea Serpent. We manage to defeat the beast, but I suffer a nasty chest wound, causing me great pain.
From there, we sail towards a glimmering shimmer on the edge of the ocean. It turns out to be a small island. Upon landing at the island, we find a track into the forest. We follow it, leading to a small glen, with a glittering pool. In the pool is a beautiful lady, only she seems more beautiful than humanly possible (think elven beauty here). My first mate, Corwin, dives into the pool upon seeing this fair thing. I tie a rope around me, and instruct our cohorts to pull me out in a couple minutes. I dive in after Corwin.
Opening my eyes under the water, I see myself beside the beauty, but what ho! I am not underwater, but on the deck of a ship, sailing on the clouds. I ask the woman where my friend is. She replies, "he is safe." I disagree, and ask where he is again. She tells me that I worry too much. I say, "Yes, I do worry, but for good reason, I think." Finally, I break free of the spell and see Corwin floating below me, almost within arms' reach. I try to grab him, but they begin to pull me out. I try harder. So close. Almost! My fingers brush against the collar of his jerkin, but alas, it is too late. I am pulled free.
I look up to see a elven fellow aiming a nocked arrow at me. I get up, and reluctantly follow him, and my companions. What have I gotten myself into?
I soon find out as we approach the ruins of what seems to have been a great elven city, but is now only ruins. There are a few structures in decent repair, but by and in large, most of the city is moss-lined, grass covered debris. A shame, perhaps. At this point, the fellow I hired on as a deck-hand dashes off, away from our captors. Suprisingly to all, he disappears into a building. The guards chase after him, but he manages to avoid them and escape. I do not know what becomes of him. The guards return, and they look quite crestfallen, and saddened. Must not have expected a human to get the best of them, eh?
Finally, we reach a large building, and our led inside. Our weapons are taken from us, but I think the druid hid his dagger. We are led into a room, where the woman who appeared to us earlier is seated in a thrown, incrusted with elven art (think leaves and scrolls). She tells us that she is thankful to us for having brought her a new consort to revive her people, and for the ship, to strengthen the fleet. But we are also told not to meddle, lest our lives be forfeit. I tell her that in now way may she have my ship. She disagrees. Suddenly, she glances at one of her guards, and points at the ceiling. He nods, and departs. Leaving only her and the guard, I bide my time. After the guard has been gone a few minutes, I proceed to make a dash for my sword, stored in the other room. But fate is not on my side this night. As I attempt to bypass the other guard, I am defeated. He first hits me in the shoulder, causing great pain, then strikes me in the jaw. The world goes black.
Thus ends my part in the story. I look forward to finding out what happened.
Pete: Corwin the mighty (or johny bravo take you pick) I had sailed us bravely through monster infested waters when alas a great serpent was spoted so I loaded the canon for my noble captain... alas it struck but the serpent came so my captain shot it squarly with his trusted crossbow. still the beast came it bit my captain, so i grabed my trusty axe and with a great war cry behead the scummy thing. Alas my captain had fallen but i had my revenge. I then found an island and rowed us ashore.
I blased a mighty trail through the thickest of woods till we came to a pool. The most beautiful of women lived in the pool and beconed me to join her so i droped into the mighty waters and took her...
darkness...
i awoke in the might suit god had given me and in a grand bed my lady entered so i arose and went to her proundly ready to take her again, but she told me she would already bear me a might warrior of a son and to put some cloths on that she might not be tempted by my beauty. I did as my lady asked, but left my shirt unbuttoned so that it might tease her and all the other women. We went to the great chamber where my captian came. I sat on my mightly thrown as king and told my captain to take a sack of riches with him if he would cut me from my contract and go his way leaving me with my lady. He agreed and one of the guards arose in anger that a human would be alowed to take elven treasure and struck down my captain. In my bitter rage i killed the guard with my bear hands. Then i picked up treasure and strung it over my back. Then i went over to the lifeless body of my captain and picked him up. I kissed my lady goodbye saying the elf men would always be jellous of my beauty and i must leave. She wept bitter tears but let me leave saying she would take good care of my son and he would know of his heroic father. I carried my burdens back to the ship and set sail for a great adventure... but that is another tale.
Player Thoughts
Ryan: Open seas, blazing trails, battles, bravery, and adventure.... The tails you speak of of great heroes, and stir my blood to do the same....
Additional GM Thoughts
I had fun last night as well. I didn't think my Riddle of Steel game went as well as it could have, but a splitting headache on my part added to the distraction.

Stone Hearts, Stone Memories[edit]

Game System
Ronin/Dust Devils
Pitch
Game Master
Wilhelm Fitzpatrick
Players
Characters
3
Date
January 6, 2003
Technical Notes
Recaps
Wilhelm: Well, here it is, what I believe is the first actual play report for Ronin (the feudal Japan adaptation of the Dust Devils rules). I'll try to play to all factions by recounting the story we created, along with my observations on my experience of using the Dust Devils system.
First let me comment that I had never played Dust Devils itself, nor in fact run any of the modern systems that explicitly transfer director power to the players, although I have played in some. So the first thing I noticed was the serveral times my players had to remind me when it was time for me to shut up :) But in all, I liked the ability for players to insert their own ideas into the story. One trick I did use a few times was to "clarify" a fact that a player had introduced in narration to introduce a plot element from my back story. Is this a sin against the freedoms of shared directors stance? I dunno, but i seemed to work.
Also, I added a variant to the variant, in that I felt that the use of poker cards as the fortune mechanism was a great choice for the old west, but disturbed the mood of Ronin. So I developed a variant conflict resolution system using Mah Jongg tiles. We also used Go stones in place of poker chips. The players had a little difficulting figuring out their hands until they got used to the Mah Jongg suits, but I had prepared cheat sheets with pictures of the tiles, and after a few conflicts they got the hang of it. Everybody loved the feel of using the tiles, and it was great to be able to say stuff like "Well, your flush in bamboo wins the hand, but I have the red dragon so the narration is mine!"
I set my adventure in the early medieval period, during the fall of the Kamakura Shogunate and the rise of the Daimyos as powers in their own right. Unlike the sample Dust Devil adventure, I did not pregen characters, but had players create their own. One of the players wound up using Roji the Damned from the Ronin sample rules. The others were:
Matsunai Ishiro, a samurai disgraced by defeat in battle, driven to seek out and challenge the best swordmasters in the land to learn their secrets.
Endo Toshiro, a ronin of dubious repute, driven by his lust for wealth, justified to himself as "saving his family from poverty"
Tanaka Umiko, daughter of a great swordsmith and last of her line, she seeks revenge on the mysterious lord who killed her family and stole her fathers greatest sword.
One challenge was then to weave the characters motivations into what I had prepared. My preparation consisted of developing four important NPCs whose relationships presented two seperate, but losely linked conflict, was well as detailing a few important locations, and providing myself with a list of other 'color' NPCs that might come in handy if needed. The back story I developed was partially a mystery, and in development I had to explicitly force myself *not* to come up with all the answers, since I did not want to be too wedded to something if the players came up with a better idea. My final approach was to provide myself with a good history of how the current situation came to be, but not to run my ideas forward to any kind of conclusion.
The advantage of having the setting worked up in some detail was that I was able to come up with plausible tie-ins for all the characters except one (Roji) and after the game I realized I could have accomodated him as well with a little more thought.
I also took some effort before hand to think up a variety of "intro scenes" for characters other than "you start at the inn" (although I did include that :) which allowed me to start the characters fairly spread out. I think this worked out well, because even once the characters came together (and not till near the end) they did not seem at all averse to suddenly striking back out on their own as need dictated, and I think we did a good job of avoiding the "party mentality".
The setting was the village of Isawa, in the moutains of Mutsu province, the summer estate of Governor Ando Tadao adjoining the village, and the nearby Stones Rest monastery. Peaceful until recently, there were now reports of bandits waylaying travellers on the road at night, and the Governor had sent his most trusted lieutenant, Takehashi Takeru to investigate and deal with it. Unfortunately, the lieutenant was *not* dealing with the problem, and instead was spending all his time at the Ando estate, being entertained by the governor's daugher, Lady Haruko (the governor was elsewhere). Ishiro arrived in the village, having travelled to challenge Takeru, but instead met his wife, who was camped outside the gates of the Ando estate, waiting for her husband to emerge. Roji travelled in from the opposite direction, spending the night at the monastery and learning strange rumors from the monks. Toshiro came to the village following the talk of bandits, whether to gain a reward for defeating them, or to join them was not clear at first, and Umiko came to the monastery on the rumor that they might have word of her father's sword. Toshiro and Umiko had stopped at the inn, and heard locals speculating that instead of bandits, an Oni (demon) was loose in the mountains.
Early on I ran into two difficulties figuring out how to do certain things in the Dust Devils system. One: how to deal with conflicts that involved some uncertainty, but wouldn't really result in any risk if the didn't succeed. For example a character wanted to identify strange carvings at the Stones Rest temple using a lore talent. I wound up using the conflict mechanic, and simply ignoring difficulty if the player lost. The other was what to do if really only one element applied. For example, in the aformentioned challenge, its really just intellectual, so after some messing around the players and I agreed that it was okay to just pull tiles for one attribute. Since these conflicts were usually minor, I typically only pulled a three tile hand for them, so I think it worked out. Also once in a while I would simply pull a tile for myself to randomize some decision I needed to make (i.e. who spots the bad guy first).
There was an initial convergence of all the characters but Ishiro at the monastery, but it didn't last, as each character had distinct motivations. Toshiro appeared to be casing the joint, Umiko wanted to know if they had ever heard of the sword she was seeking, and Roji was fascinated by the strange carvings on the temple tower, which predated the founding of the monastery. Also, on the way up to the monastery, Toshiro had found a roadside Shinto shrine which had been defiled by the addition of a cracked human armbone to the offerings, which lent some crendence to the Oni idea. Or was somebody trying to frighten people.
Toshiro actually figured out that the mysterious carvings on the temple were t'aoh t'ieh, ancient Chinese beast masks of uncertain provenance. This involved an interesting piece of resolution, as Toshiro won narration, but I paid all players one stone to bid away the narration, since I wanted to introduce the t'aoh t'ieh symbolism for forshadowing. I see reading the rules afterwards that that is not one of the listed options for the dealer, but nobody seemed to mind, and it worked out fine in play.
There were some good role playing bits at the temple thanks to the character of a elderly monk with a vow of silence I had added as a color character. He would only communicate via guestures and by writing the occasionaly character in the dust. I think the players were exaspirated by him, but I can tell you that the GM had a ball :)
Umiko was redirected to the Takeru the swordmaster by the monks at the temple, and when she arrived at his pavilion, found Ishiro waiting there with Nezumi, Takeru's wife. Ishiro had taken to tossing small rocks at an elderly farmer whom he felt was being too nosy into the affairs of his betters, which eventually got him read out by the farmers daughter who was also working nearby, and earned him the nickname "rock thrower" for the rest of the game. Nezumi chided the Ishiro and Umiko for being irresponsible lay abouts, and urged them to seek out the bandit (in the hope that if the bandits were eliminated, her husband would have no more reason to remain in the area). This in fact got the characters to go do some more investigation on the moutain road.
One other piece of preparation I did was to write up a few events which I could drop on characters to get them motivated again when things go slow. I believe in Forge terminology these are called "Bangs" ? Anyway, having them handy came in useful several times. Nezumi goading the characters into going after bandits was one of them.
Umiko and Ishiro going up the mountain met Roji coming down, and they decided to join forces. This is where the characters started to come together. They searched for awhile, then set up camp in the forest to have dinner, and were telling tales of their exploits to each other, when they were surprised by the appearance of the elderly farmer from earlier. His name was Horokewpo, and he was an Ainu (northern barbarian) who had once served Lord Ando in his youth, and who despite having lost a hand in the service of his lord, was later abandoned when his lord found him socially inconvenient, and he felt a bit ill used by the Ando family. "I gave my hand that my lord might take an arm" he said.
He revealed to the players that Lord Ando had once driven an Ogre (or Oyasi as he called it) from the tower which is today the monastery. He mocked the characters, and felt they would not fare well against such a creature. He then left for the village, but Umiko, reminded of her father by the old man, chose to escort him back. And well she did, for as they came upon the roadside shrine, seated upon it in the moonlight, reading from a book was a giant terrible figure. Umiko tried to sneak up on it, but the creature spoke a poem of secret things coming unbidden, and turned and stuck at her with what at first she assumed to be a bone, but later realized was the pommel of sword. She also learned that the creature was missing its left arm.
(This was one of my "edits" of player narration. The player said bone, afterwards I added "well, that's what you thought it was at first..." In additional incidents I detailed the sword until it was finally determined to be the one that Umiko was seeking.)
Umiko was overcome by the beasts furious strength, and ran for it, pulling the old man with her. Unfortunately, he fell, and the ogre seized the old man and lept over some nearbye trees and vanished.
(This was an adaptation of bang I had prepared, in which Horokewpo would be captured while seeking the ogre out by himself, and his daughter would come to the character's for aid. I learn that prep work is good if you are ready to quickly mold it to the situation that the players ultimately develop)
She quickly returned to the camp and gathered the rest of the players (Toshiro had now joined them). They attempted to track the creature, and eventually were able to trace him to a nearby crag, where they found his campfire and stewpot set up, and Horokewpo trussed up but not yet cooked. They freed him, and he informed them that the Ogre (Wu Fang, although the characters never learned his name) had not eaten him yet because it seemed very impressed by this threats that Lord Ando had beaten him once and would do so again. Fang had then left saying he had a task to complete.
(Toshiro also stole a book from the creature's cave, which turned out be a volume of ancient poetry (the Kokin Wakashu). The player specified "an ancient tome" in his narration, and I had happen to specify that the ogre possesed this book in my character description. Ain't coinkydink lovely? :)
Realizing that the Ogre was up to mischief, the characters rushed back to the village, and spotted him climbing over the wall of the Ando estate. Ishiro, headstrong, rushed into the house without even knocking and began searching it. The rest of the characters waited outside to ambush the Ogre as it emerged. Ishiro wound up waking up the head servant, and convincing him of the danger, and they and additional members of the household rushed to the Lady's bedchamber to check on her.
Meanwhile, having been woken by the noise from the house, Takeru emerged from his pavilion to spy the other characters lurking suspiciously about, and thinking them bandits, challenged and attacked them. Being honorable, the characters chose to fight him one at a time, and Toshiro got lucky with a tremendous draw and managed to disarm and humble the swordmaster before things got out of hand.
Ishiro, hearing the fighting outside was about to rush out when a crash from in milady's bed chamber drew his attention. Peeking in, he saw the Ogre in the act of opening a great iron chest. He taunted the creature with insults and tried to draw its attention, which he succeeded in doing, but not before the creature drew from the chest its missing arm and reattached it.
The Ogre attacked Ishiro with a terrible fury and nearly slew him. However the noise from that battle drew in the characters outside, in time to save Ishiro, and defeat the beast. Umiko's fury on beholding her fathers sword was truely terrifying, but in the end it was Toshiro's masterful swordwork that saved the day.
Takeru, witnessing this battle, realized that he had become deceived by his pride in his own skill and worth, and that true selfless valour was what was needed of a great samurai (in his battle with Toshiro, his Fire had been reduced to 0). He abandoned his foolish daliance with Haruko, and returned to his faithful wife.
And we rolled credits.
A final comments on the experience. I initially found it difficult to figure out when to call for conflict, since the mood of setting seemed to make it often more appropriate to introduce subtle obstacles or innuendo. Alot of things along these lines were handled by Karma, or later as I got more comfortable I started using three card hands and ignoring difficulty as I discussed above. Of course once the sword play got thick and fast, conflicts were all around.
We discussed the suitability of the DD rules to the Ronin setting afterwards. It seemed like the concept of Duty was not quite as much of a driver as the DD devil, and also seemed to be prone to "being completed", but on the other hand we speculated that a linked series of adventures might be done by having new Duty grow out of the old one as the original one was fulfilled.
All in all, a good, and fairly thematic time was had by all. For those that are interesed, I plan to put my Mah Jongg variant up on the web, as well as the Stone Hearts, Stone Memories scenario (once I have had a chance to do a little polishing).
And if you were one of the players in the game, I'd love to hear your opinions about how it went as well, and how the system affected your experience (and was I being too controlling?)
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts



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