An Early Christmas Present: Adventurer Misadventures REUTRNS!

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Hey folks, it’s been a while! I apologize for the fact that the last post indicated I was getting back into the swing of things and then I went AWOL. And while I think the blog will shift slightly to a more general view of gaming, I will still try and have entertaining stories for you–like the one following!

Back in the late 90’s Marvel published a RPG using the SAGA system. If you look for it nowadays, the card deck alone can cost a few hundred dollars . . . though there are PDFs floating around out there. A friend of mine, known for running the Victim’s Ball LARPs in western NY (among other things) has a pristine set of these cards and is an INCREDIBLE GM of the game. He runs it in an alternate Marvel universe which grows and changes depending on the actions of the players in each game of it he runs.

Marvel SAGA

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Rebooting Brain, Please Stand By. . . .

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Sorry for the abrupt lack of posting. There have been a lot of shifts in my life over the past few weeks–good and we’ll-make-it-good-in-the-end shifts–that I have been juggling; with all the chaos the blog posts have gotten kicked to the “I’ll deal with that later!” pile.

I’m also thinking of reworking the site in theme to a little more gaming-general or making some of the posts video blog posts. I’ll have to debate about the latter because, much like everyone I’ve ever met, I hate the sound of my own recorded voice. I can’t even describe how much it grates on me, I feel like I sound like Mickey Mouse with a severe head cold.

I’ll be getting back to the usual Thursday schedule this week, and see how things develop from there.

RPG on!

RetCon III Recap

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Much to my disappointment, I was not able to run my beloved GLITCH again at RetCon III; this was due to a combination of factors, including a terrible time-slot, last-minute addition of the game to the schedule, and a bratty player walking out because he was unhappy with not one, but two characters I offered him.

By and by, in a normal DRT you take what you’re given and you play it, you don’t get to pick and choose. The only reason I offered him a second character was I NEEDED the last player to make the module work; his tantrum literally killed the module for everyone.

BUT, all was not lost, for while my first module fell apart, it meant I got to go sit down and bother my favorite GM, Mage Mistress.

She was running a game of WoD: Innocents and already had a Bully, Thief, Prankster, and Mixologist at the table. When he slid the remaining PC options over to me my eyes lit up with glee at the sight of the Hacker (I immediately thought of Alec Hardison).

And then I saw the other option.

Two words: Con Artist.

I was sold.

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RetCon III Recap: A Prelude

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As I started to write a post last night, I realized that it was going to be much longer than I anticipated, and, due to several important real-life things (AKA trying to avoid being unemployed when my temp position is up) I had started the post much too late in the evening to have it finished on time. However, you will get a RetCon Recap this evening and it will include:

  • Vampires
  • Werewolves
  • Time Travelers
  • Con Artists
  • Defenestration

And such fine quotes as:

  • “Mike! Get over here so you can be a lesbian!”

I hope you will enjoy it!

RetCon 2012 DRT

RetCon Logo

Short post today, as I am gearing up for RetCon this weekend. If you’ve read any of this blog at all, you know that I’ve ranted and raved about the Dramatic Roleplaying Tournament and DRT-style modules. I love it a lot; frankly, it’s my favorite style of roleplaying.

RetCon won’t have a full, three round tournament (two qualifiers and a final round)this year for space reasons. HOWEVER, what this means is I’ll simply give out prizes to the TOP ROLEPLAYERS IN BOTH MODULES I’M RUNNING. I have some cool stuff to give away, too, including the audiobooks of Ready Player One (as read by Wil Wheaton) and Robopocalypse, not to mention some packs of Munchkin Reloaded and more!

Whether or not you’re going to make it to RetCon this weekend, I feel an obligation to direct my fellow gamers to the Reaper Bones Minis Kickstarter. If you like minis for your dungeon, or if you’ve ever WANTED to start collection minis, then is this kickstarter for you. For a $100 pledge so far you’re getting over 210 minis, and the number KEEPS GROWING. Not to mention you can keep their exclusive, Metal Sophie mascot, or you can ditch her for $25 in bonus sets. The Kickstarter is in its final days, so pledge quickly!

I hope to see you at RetCon and if not, Happy Gaming anyway!

Supernatural Couples’ Therapy Preview

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While a couple of my favorite modules have been serious stories, I feel I am much better at setting up comedic modules. Since I’ll be running the DRAMATIC ROLEPLAYING TOURNAMENT at RetCon, I’ll be reprising not only GLITCH, but a module I call SUPERNATURAL COUPLES’ THERAPY.

SUPERNATURAL COUPLES THERAPY (SNCT for short) is sort-of my knee-jerk reaction to things like TWILIGHT* and TRUE BLOOD*. I like my supernatural creatures to be dark, threatening, and–most importantly–they’d better not sparkle.

I thought it might be hilarious to parody these Supernatural Love Stories with the other side of love: Couples’ Therapy.

As for the couples, with a full cast (of thirteen characters) I have:

  • Dr. Quinn, the therapist.
  • Vic her assistant.
  • Eddie, a vampire (with a problematic ex-wife, Izzy).
  • Steffy, Eddie’s new girlfriend.
  • Tessa, a werewolf.
  • Beau, Tessa’s boyfriend, who wasn’t expecting his girlfriend to double as “Man’s best friend.”
  • Mike “Deva,” a fallen Angel.
  • Naomi, Mike’s Jewish girlfriend.
  • J.O. 131-B (“Jo”), a time traveler.
  • Lydia, Jo’s girlfriend.
  • Ella, a sweet girl.
  • Thomas, Ella’s boyfriend.
  • Sam, Ella’s fairy godparent.

And here’s the official poster for SNCT (yes, I’m aware of the typo).

SNCT FLIER

Now, if you’ve paid attention to anything I’ve posted, you probably know there’s a twist or two to this story . . . but to find out, you’ll need to come play! 😀

I hope to see you at RetCon!

*Note how I didn’t link to either of these. I only link to things I have some respect for, even if it’s just a grudging respect.

May You Live in Interesting Times. . . .

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As you can probably tell, I have been a bit distracted; I missed Tuesday again. Because of this recurring phenomenon, until further notice I’m going to call Tuesday a “bonus day” and guarantee posts on Thursdays only. I hope to pick up a twice-a-week schedule later when things in my real life calm down a little, but as of right now my PCs aren’t the only ones living in interesting times. . . .

But with that out of the way, on to more interesting things!

If you haven’t gotten the hint from the posts that populate this space, I tend to play characters on the “Chaotic” side of the alignment spectrum. The simple reason is: they’re FUN! I mean, c’mon, Lawful is so . . . restricting. Also, considering what happens when I try to be a lawful leader, you can see why I decide to make life hard for OTHER PEOPLE instead.

However, there’s always a danger I have to be aware of: messing up the game too much. There are other people at the table. So while running up to a giant spider armed with only a wrench might be hilarious once in a while, if you’re always running off or getting into trouble or CAUSING trouble, it’ll get old for the other players, FAST.

It’s critical that every player at a table works together in and out of character for a game to thrive. Chaos can be hilarious and add spice to a game, but it also can be extremely irritating for the person who isn’t the one sewing it. I sometimes run around as an Eclipse Phase character called “Cleo.” She’s a member of the Lost Generation: a little psychic and a little psychotic. Specifically she has a sort of personality disorder that means she doesn’t understand how to function in normal society. Cleo understands that people get angry when they get insulted–she’s seen that happen before. However, she dosen’t understand what people find insulting.

It’s always interesting to play Cleo, because it’s a balance between being true to the character I’ve created and not aggravating the heck out of my fellow players by asking stupidly obvious questions all the time. There was an entertaining episode where we were asked to kill a man in revenge by the woman he had killed (she got better–you can upload/download/back-up your mind in Eclipse Phase). Cleo found him–but since the murderer didn’t have a backup copy of himself, she thought it would be unfair to kill him completely. So Cleo let him go with a warning that the next time she saw him he needed to have a backup because she would really have to kill him.

Of course, her teammates later freaked out when they discovered she’d let him go, but it wasn’t a critical plot point. You’ve got to pick and choose how much insanity you want to inject in a game. If the man had been the only guy who had the information they needed for the story to continue, well, I would be ticked off too.

For all my fellow chaos-sowers out there: as odd as it may seem, be careful! A game is a delicate thing; if you want to keep playing, you have to respect everyone at the table.

That being said . . . do something silly next time–for me! 😉

JeffLag 2012! (Part Two)

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I you haven’t already read JeffLag 2012! (Part One) you don’t really HAVE to, but it contains more highlights and hilarity. I can’t go into a great deal of detail about GLITCH, the module I ran, since I’ll be running it again at RetCon, but rest assured that I have learned from the first run and NOBODY’S GETTING WEAPONS, NOT EVEN STUN GUNS, in the RetCon run. Believe it or not, I think it’ll make the module more tense.

The final module of JeffCon was part of a running story, though I think these particular PCs will (and should) be retired for a while. The module-specific setting was sort-of based on Downton Abbey (though I can’t really speak to that fact properly, as I’ve never seen that show.

I was playing a female General who had just re-conquered her country from invaders–and now she was looking to put a strong leader on the throne. While there were rumors, started by a man called Lord Blake, that the General wanted the throne for herself, she actually wanted to put a very different person on the throne–the rightful heir and last in line of the Royal Family, the Prince (previously all of the Royals had been assumed to have been killed).

The problem was the Prince refused to take the throne until he had a wife, so that the Royal line of succession was assured, and he and his wife could be a symbol of hope for the people. So, the General, the Prince, the Prince’s nurse (from when he was a boy, he was 30 now, and she was 60-something), and one of the General’s most trusted soldiers have to haul themselves out to a fairly well off Lord’s estate (henceforth called “Lord Father”) so the Prince could choose between one of Lord Father’s three daughters to marry. Mind you, The General, Prince, et. all are all in disguise. The Prince is pretending to be another random Lord, the Nurse his mother, the General his niece, and the soldier–whom the General is developing feelings for, but is dealing with them awkwardly–winds up playing the part of “Niece’s fiancee.” Everyone from the servants to the daughters, to Lord Blake, were all characters in the module. Some of the funniest moments included:

  • The eldest of the thee daughters, who had been the “frontrunner” of the trio (at least, in the eyes of the Nurse) went a little crazy because she got nervous around the Prince’s “Mother,” and then people tried to drug her wine to calm her down (which backfired HORRIBLY).
  • I (purposely OOC, accidentally IC) trip while trying to curtsey, which sets off one of my informants in the Lord Father’s manor into a peal of giggles, which infuriates the General, but she has to pretend like nothing is wrong.
  • The middle sister had been cured of a madness she’d suffered from for years, so you’d think people would be concerned that she’d have a relapse, but no–she and the eldest managed to tag-team the youngest sister about being improper, including fixing her dress multiple times (the player was not actually wearing a dress . . . the pantomiming was priceless).
  • At one point the Prince went missing (the player went to the bathroom; IC/OOC we didn’t realize this) and the General went into a panic. She had hidden “knives” (in reality, a pen) in a bag on her belt and went running around the manor with her hand on a knife in a bag calling out for her uncle. At one point the eldest sister (already agitated) and one of the servants looks at the General, looks at the hand she has stuffed in her bag, and they both look terrified. Having anticipated that possibly someone might look in her bag at some point, the General had also stowed some makeup in there. So, to try and reassure the eldest sister and the servant, she takes out some lipstick, puts it on her lips, and the offers it to the eldest sister. The eldest sister refuses, and the General shrugs and tries to walk away in a composed manner (she’s still panicking about the missing Prince). Once I’m out of sight the Eldest sister flips out, convinced that the lipstick was poisoned and the General had been trying to kill her. The servant then runs around trying to wipe off lipstick from the lips of the youngest and middle sister. The General is then repeatedly asked about her “poison lipstick” by members of her party, to which she replies “The lipstick is lipstick! I was using it to hide my KNIVES!”
  • One of the players playing a servant would wave us away from noticing her. We couldn’t figure it out for the longest time; occasionally she’d help GM, so we figured that’s what she was doing. Later we found out she was actually pulling a “I’m invisible, you can’t see me!” because (as she said afterwards) “In Downtown Abbey, there’s not a SINGLE conversation that isn’t eavesdropped on!”
  • At one point the General gets into a conversation with Lord Blake, the man who has been smearing her name by calling her a dictator-to-be. The two of them discuss how neither of them thinks the General should become ruler of this country. It was a completely honest conversation too–except for the fact that the General was lying about who she actually was. Hilariously, as I’m saying disparaging things about myself, Lord Blake starts defending the General as a “war hero.” I nearly died laughing. Ultimatly, the General came away from that conversation thinking “Hey, that guy’s actually not so bad–now if he would just get it through his thick skull that I don’t WANT to run the country . . . I really need to get the Prince a wife, ASAP.”

There’s a whole lot more that happened, but I’d like to instead take a moment to send some good vibes out to a stranger. Before the module, the players playing Lord Blake and his butler were out by the road near the house we were staying at, and a serious accident unfolded before them. A car flipped, a guy’s arm was pinned, and the ambulance had to be called. Most of us didn’t find out about this until later–Lord Blake and the Butler stuck around to see if they were needed to help (after they and five other people called 911), and when they were dismissed, they went back towards the house and entered the module as latecomers to the estate. Afterwards they told everyone about it; we were all pretty shocked. So, please send some good thoughts in the general direction of the poor guy who was in that accident–I hope his arm is all right and he recovers quickly.

JeffLag 2012! (Part One)

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It happens every year: I go to JeffCon, I retun from JeffCon feeling like I just went cross-country the wrong way and am flailing about in a coma. JeffCon is ALWAYS worth it, though.

This year, some highlights include:

X-Men Prom:

  • “So you’re what, another Jean Grey?” “No, my name is Madelyne Pryor!” “Sure, you were Madelyne prior to being Jean.”
  • “Your chaperones for prom this year are Emma Frost, Hank McCoy, Mr. Sabah Nur, Frank Castle, and Magneto. Have a good time!”
  • Franklin Richards running around changing reality willy-nilly.
  • “Charles, where are your pants?”
  • Jean Grey was played by a man in drag.
  • “Emma! I found my pants!” “Lovely, Charles. Now where is your shirt?” “My what?”
  • Every time I turned around, one of my friends had changed into a completely different costume (she started out looking like Pixie, then Boom-Boom, then Dominobecause, apparently she was playing Mystique.

The Starship Module:

  • Watching an alien grope the first officer of a spaceship, then getting propositioned by that same alien myself.
  • I got to play, essentially, the nerd every nerd would be if they suddenly found themselves on a “An honest-to-god, mother-frakking starship!”
  • Watching one of the GMs dying laughing as he realizes my character is whistling So Long and Thanks for all the Fish.
  • The entire cast of the module signing one of the theme songs of the module (Come Sail Away) before the game started.
  • One of the pilots (male) comes down to Engineering.
    Pilot: “Hey, you guys know Mia?”
    *General nods/mutters of confirmation.*
    Pilot: “And how many of you guys know Mia?”
    *My character keeps her hands down but a few of the engineering guys mutter/cough confirmation*
    Pilot: “Well, she’s acting completely delusional!”
    *We’re all really worried now; there’s a space-sickness that goes around and makes people delusional and violent.*
    Pilot: “I slept with her, and now all of a sudden she thinks we’re in a relationship or something!”
    *My character excuses herself while the guys in Engineering burst out into uproarious laughter.*
  • I have a session with the ship’s counselor. She asks my character if anything’s bothering me. I say I’m a little sad nobody’s getting my humor. She asks what I mean by that. I say “Well, for instance, I could ask you if you’re dating the first officer.” She gives me this mortified look. I quickly backtrack with “It’s just a bad joke! Seriously! I didn’t mean anything!” I find out after the module that she WANTED to be seeing the first officer, but she had JUST found out he was sleeping with someone else.

More highlights to come on Thursday . . .

The Monsturd . . .

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I don’t know how many of you have heard of/played a game dungeons diving through Rappan Athuk in whatever system, but for those of you who haven’t, I warn you, there are spoilers ahead about one of the toughest monsters in the game. No, not Orcus, that guys a pansy compared to . . .

Rappan Athuk

. . . the Monsturd.*

Yes, there is a monster made out of feces in Rappan Athuk. Try not to think about it too hard, it’ll only hurt.

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