The State of Your Game

sageadvice_thumb_0This is kind of just a throw-away post here.  I didn’t want to end the month without posting at least once on the blog.

So, I’m just wondering about the state of your game: what you’re running, if you’ve got a campaign going, how’s it going, etc.  Feel free to link to any campaign logs or after action reports you’ve written up.  I love to read up on other people’s campaigns.

As for myself, nothing cooking at the moment.  I’ve got five or six ideas for campaigns (including The Long Winter campaign, long in development), but I’m not really sure what to focus on.  Besides, our group currently games two or three times a week, so there aren’t a lot of open time slots at the moment.

Game on!

 

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26 Responses to “The State of Your Game”

  1. tinhillpress Says:

    Started a new PFBB face-to-face game recently. Set in my homebrew World of Aeran and one online as well as a YouTube Live Play broadcast. 🙂

    • EdOWar Says:

      Nice! Are you using just PFBB, or are you planning to transition to PF core after level 5? Do you have a link?

      And thanks for commenting. 🙂

      Edit: NM, just saw the links you sent. Thank you, I’ll check them out when I get a free moment.

      • tinhillpress Says:

        Hey man, hope you enjoy the videos. 🙂

        We are using all your materials, and I am allowing them to multiclass after level 1 with a maximum of 10 character levels, and no single class above level 5. it’s a test to see how it works out for us. 🙂

    • tinhillpress Says:

      This is the summary of my table-top face-to-face PFBB campaign cut and pasted from my Facebook feed.

      Normally when I run a fantasy setting it is very Lord of the Rings meets Belgariad meets Willow meets Dragonlance meets Game of Thrones. I bow, what a weird mess of ideas, but needless to say we take it very seriously.

      On Sunday I settled down to start yet another one of these campaigns with all new characters and something inside my brain went “twinge” and what came out of my mouth was not what I had planned.

      Here now is a summation of that setting and what happened in the first adventure. Please note we are using Pathfinder Beginner Box with custom content from EdoWar’s Blog and my own material, and doing it as a pseudo E5 style campaign.

      Okay so the setting is WIDE open, it’s the kind of thing that is very generic but maybe not, think of it more like the WoW, Battle Chasers, Ironwood, Rat Queens, Pathfinder, D&D 4e visuals, Skullkickers material that inspired it.

      It is set in the Everwood.

      The Everwood is not on any single plane of existence, but is its own plane that was once part of a massive empire long gone. More below. The Everwood can be reached from any setting, Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, Krynn, Glorantha, etc…

      The Everwood is a GIANT forest that is essentially sort of a “California Central Valley” but much bigger that, and was once the Empire of Galidor, but hasn’t been for two thousand years. After some ancient destruction, or maybe they just faded away, the forest returned with a vengeance and taken over the valley. It has rivers, etc… going through it, really wilderlands.

      Where it is civilized, the Lower Forest, it is sort of like the Outer Rim in Star Wars. There are homesteads, etc… close to the edges, but within there are almost three tiers of forest. The first tier, closest to the main city is bucolic, even peaceful, though there are still dangers to be avoided. Think the homestead in Legend that Princess Lilly visits and the forest she plays in.

      Then there is the next level which is more to the middle of the forest, called the Central Forest, which is more dangerous, the Knights of the Green (rangers and druids) patrolling it, wild tribes of elves, giant spiders, monsters, mayhem, very dangerous, and really no one lives there save for the occasional wizard’s tower or lost cult and their temple.

      Finally there is the furthest part of the forest, the opposite end from where the players start and it is not safe at all, it is the Upper Forest. Ancient evils and horrors lurk, the Knights of the Green, who protect so much of the rest of the forest won’t even set foot in here. This area is the “north-western” end of the forest and according to the maps, only further wildlands lay beyond it.

      The main city/access point Haven, where people (most non-humans and wizards) go to hide from “the Church!” who seeks to remove them from the world. Haven is a lot like Solace from Dragonlance in safety not necessarily style, or that city in Ironwood where they catch the Northbound snail. Essentially it is built into the forest around a gate house of the ancient Gildorian wall that barred the southern entry to their empire. Now the wall is mostly gone, but there is a good 600 yards of it still visible through the trees and forest here and its gate house the entry to Haven!

      Within Haven is all forms of building and construction, with the forest right there. The bows of the trees create lanes and streets, with the buildings nestled between them. Dwarven architecture, elvish design, Halfling burrows, human houses, etc… can all be found in Haven.

      Haven though, is not the most important city in the Everwood, that is reserved for the legendary City of Vance.

      Vance is a magical city that is controlled wizards and others who also have interest in never being found by the Holy Empire and as such have hidden their wonderous metropolis from the outside world by powerful spells and wards. Vance is also known as the City of Portals, as it supposed that you can reach anywhere in the multiverse from Vance.

      That said, you cannot get to Vance without an invite, and invitations are rare.

      Back in in Haven, every year there are twenty adventuring companies, who by going on sanctioned quests earn points/tokens with the top team every year getting invited to Vance. Beyond just that top twenty there are countless lesser companies competing for the opening that occurs in the Top Twenty every year.
      As you can well imagine companies are destroyed, defeated, disbanded every year, and sometimes more than one opening in the Top Twenty occurs. You roll the dice, you pay the price.

      Given that this forest valley was once a MIGHTY empire of millions of inhabitants and countless cities, it is now littered with dungeons, old ruins, forgotten temples, etc… endless amounts of adventures, treasures, and others to aid them in the quest to get to Vance.

      In Haven the Adventurers Guild works with the Justiciar (and his Archons) to parcel out quests (and track rankings) through the most famous inn in all the Everwood, the Green Griffon. They maintain as well the Adventurers Guild Hall in Haven and it is a wonderous place with kitchens, healers, blacksmiths, armourers, and even a magic shop (the Dispensary) for its members to take advantage of, for a price of course. Membership costs 10gp per year, and it costs 100gp to register a new Company with them. After that all other services are purchased as per costs in whatever rule book you are using.

      The players are currently a new company, just starting out, and comprised of a tinker Gnome gadgeteer from the nearby Tin Hills, a Dwarven prophet of the first (and recently arrived) dwarven god (it should be noted ONLY humans have “gods” in this world, so a dwarf god is considered the height of crazy), and a human mercenary from the southern shores, who weilds a mighty trident and carries a shield from the Last Legion and is very very overwhelmed by all this insanity.

      They have teamed up with a rather lascivious female Halfling rogue, an accommodating and reasonable female elf ranger/druid, and a serious, no-nonsense female swordswoman.

      They have also had the chance to see the top three Companies in the quest this year;

      The Bloody Bastards, a gunslinging Halfling male, a north-man Viking-barbarian right off the cover of an 80s Heavy Metal album, a gigantic female-half-ogre, and an elven high mage right out of “we need a Raistlin type” central casting.

      The Silver Moons, a group of Shadow Elves who all wear black robes stitched with silver threads that glow under moonlight and are probably all necromancers, or something wicked, I mean come on Shadow Elves people! Note: Shadow Elves should only be confused with Drow at your own peril.

      The Hammerfists, a group of tough-as-nails dwarves who need no spellcasters and no healers, just their thick heads, their mighty hammer, and if all else fails their calloused fists! I am sure they wouldn’t be opposed to biting and poking with their fingers too, also they carry lots of magic items and plenty of healing potions… you know… because they don’t “like” spellcasters, not their results.

      To really show the difference in this world, when they went into the Adventurers Guild to register, they saw another Company in the lobby, consisting of a Dragonborn sorcerer, a female Tiefling how might be descended from a succubus or really into fetish wear, and a ten foot tall Brass War Golem. This was taken in stride by the non-humans, but the poor southerner was momentarily shocked by what he saw before him.

      So now the heroes have registered their company (temporarily Company 2617 until they make a name) and have undertaken their first quest to defeat a Goblin warband that raided a caravan nearby and retrieve an important gold casque for the proprietor of the Dispensary, Razmusen, who has promised to double the reward for them.

      They managed to track the goblins past a farmstead where they killed everyone, the found a large black fang, the dwarf reached out to his god and had a vision of wargs (direwolves), and when the barn where they burned the dead collapsed he saw a fiery image of a bird or a bat, which the southerner confirmed that the goblins of the Bojax Wastes are known to ride giant bats.

      They then came upon the goblins, with 4 wolves, 1 hobgoblin, a goblin shaman, 10 guards and 1 boss, performing a ceremony on the golden casque at remnants of a long destroyed temple. They were able to defeat the wolves and 8 of the goblins, before we called it a night and still have to now face the others.

      Stay tuned!

      • EdOWar Says:

        That sounds pretty cool. I like how you’ve split the forest into increasingly dangerous zones, so if the players go wandering they can kind of choose their level of difficulty.

      • tinhillpress Says:

        Yeah it’s a basic “stop-gap” campaign while I get ready for our “winter” campaign starting next month. 🙂

  2. Randy Andrews Says:

    I’d update you, but you already know since you are in all of them. lol.

    • tinhillpress Says:

      Hey Randy, what about for those of us who aren’t playing in your games? 😉 Any chance we could hear what you are up to sir?

      • EdOWar Says:

        Yeah, go ahead and post a link to your blog Randy. Share the love. 🙂

      • Randy Andrews Says:

        I was unaware there would be any interest, but sure, I’ll share!

        Tuesday evenings I run an online game with a couple of friends from my old hometown and a couple friends from Reno. That game is Dungeon Crawl Classics, and the players Are currently exploring Dinotastic Park, a hex crawl designed by Reid San Filippo. The players have already had 1 full TPK and one almost TPK as they continue to try to explore the park. We last left off on a cliffhanger in the middle of a fight! I can’t wait to pick that backup.

        This game is where the debut of my home brew class The Invincible Chicken happened. More about that in a moment.

        Every other Wednesday I am in the game of DCC run by Mr. Bill Hamilton. It’s been fun so far. This is an online game using roll 20 for all tactical movement. I’ll be a little honest, I prefer theater of the mind. The tactical combat on roll 20 kind of sucks. Especially with fog of war turned on. Otherwise, this game is GREAT.

        Every other Friday I run a Pathfinder game in a homebrew world where the players are currently staking out their own part of the world. When last we left they had just discovered some crudely drawn invasion plans for an invasion of their kingdom. Their kingdom as in they staked out the area and built it from the ground up. They’ve also made friends with a time dragon who has indicated he might want a little bit of help going back in time and fixing his huge fuck up.

        On the Friday’s where I don’t run my Pathfinder game I play in Adam Johnson’s Pathfinder game with a group of about half veteran players, half new players. So far we’ve been adventurers for hire. It’s been a lot of fun. I have a feeling we just got introduced to what will eventually lead us to the big bad at the end of our last session. This coming session (tonight, 10/28) has been promised to be a potentially deadly session.

        Every other Saturday I run an in-store game of Dungeon Crawl Classics. This is done through Goodman Games World Tour program. They send me and my players free shit just for going to a store and playing some games. It’s awesome. Tomorrow (Saturday 10/29) I’ll be running my first tournament using DCC. It will be an adventure called Carnival of the Damned. A carnival sets up outside your little village, you go, maybe with your spouse and kids! Everyone has a great time. In fact, it’s difficult to believe how cheap the games, rides, and food are! But you don’t complain, this is the most fun you’ve had in ages! You go to bed that night the happiest you have been in a long time.

        You wake up to screaming. It’s coming from next door. You run outside and ask your neighbor what’s going on. Suddenly there is another scream from elsewhere in the village. And another, and another! Your neighbor tells you that little Johnny is missing from his bed. Hearing the other screams in the village you put 2 and 2 together. You run into little Jane’s room! She’s gone! You frantically search the house! No Jane!! By the time you make it back out you realize the whole village is up and around. All the village’s children are gone.

        Off towards the south, you hear Calliope music start to come from the carnival as it lights up in an eerie pink glow…

        So last but not least my biggest project at the moment is Barnyard Crawl Classics (working title). I’ve been putting together animal classes for DCC since there have been numerous times in my DCC game where a farmer has kicked the bucket and the animal he started the game with has been left behind. Some of these animals sometimes survive! So my goal is if an animal survives to the end of a DCC funnel, that the players have the ability to continue progression of that animal. I’ve been releasing these for free on my blog (I’ll link below). I’ve been producing these with an eye towards publishing them in a book. The book will have some variants and extras that I don’t put on the website, but I am dedicated to keeping the base classes for free on my website. So far there has been a chicken, a goat, and a bear. I’m currently writing a (holy) cow. I am planning several volumes of this book too.

        If you’d like to learn more about it you can check out http://www.totalgmkills.com

      • Randy Andrews Says:

        Jeezus I typed a novel.

      • tinhillpress Says:

        Twas a noble read! 🙂

    • tinhillpress Says:

      Wow that’s a lot of gaming Randy! You have my envy 🙂

  3. tinhillpress Says:

    I forgot to include links! Derp!

    Here is the playlist with the videos about my world development: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9UfWW3vSTzuxmsyqaRZe9eXRUVv99Hqz

    Here’s the liveplay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QabwQMZAFxo

    Feel free to comment on them if you like 🙂

  4. Tiorn Says:

    Been talking to an old friend lately (who used to GM everything we tried back in the day) and he’s getting excited over the Star Trek RPG due out next year. We might look into trying to get a group together for that then, but we always had trouble maintaining consistent groups when stepping away from AD&D. Those problems always disappeared once we switched back though.

    I have some LUG Trek stuff, so I guess its possible that we might dabble with that until the new Trek stuff is out. Not sure. My buddy has been binge watching the Enterprise series lately, so I pitched an idea that I had to run along with that. He really liked the idea, so we might try it… if we can get a few more people to the gaming table.

    Other than that, there’s nothing going on.

    • EdOWar Says:

      I never got into the Star Trek RPG back in the day, though I remember seeing the game on the shelves (along with Star Fleet battles). Hope the game comes together for you. And thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      • Tiorn Says:

        Need to get into something, I know that! I’ve been watching Critical Role lately and its really building up my desire to play. Don’t really care for some of the 5e stuff, but I’m more into the interaction than the system at this point! lol

    • tinhillpress Says:

      I signed up for the playtest and am waiting to hear 🙂 I got into roleplaying (and Star Trek) not through D&D but through the old FASA Star Trek game back in 1985. 🙂

      • Tiorn Says:

        Yeah, our old group played back in the early 90s, so we tried Star Trek by the FASA rules as well. I really liked it. But one thing that the group didn’t like about Star Trek was military structure and chain of command of Starfleet, which you pretty much have to go by in the game. I’m sure we would have been way better off if we had re-engineered the game so that we were running a pirate crew in the same setting or something like that. Really, the biggest game flaw for it would be that some characters just don’t have a role to play in certain situations. Doesn’t make sense to send a pilot on an away mission (unless its by shuttle), as an example. So there’s a lot of time when some players just can’t participate.

      • tinhillpress Says:

        Two ideas, one the Trader Captains & Merchant Princes supplement would work for non-Star Fleet adventures… OR… the Prime Directive rpg from Amarillo Design Bureau. You play specialized away teams called “Prime Teams”. There is a version for GURPS and one for d20 Modern as well.

  5. yolo Says:

    I’m running a game through the Shadowfell with a friend of mine, using D&D 5e. It was all completely made up in my head on the spot, so a lot of it probably isn’t what you’d expect from a typical D&D game.
    (My friend is playing as a Tiefling Ranger that is crook. He used to raid farmhouses, and long before the town watchmen could come out, he’d be long gone. He rarely goes into town, because he knows if he’s seen, he’ll get caught and thrown in prison.)

    The game started out with my friend and his Half-Orc NPC bruiser buddy invited by an old wizard to his lab. They’d never really been on good terms with one another, not since my friend broke through this guy’s window when was what, 11? Anyway, my friend shows up with his Half-Orc buddy, and are promptly allowed to enter. When they come inside, the Wizard gives them a brief background on his life and family ties, and his missing brother that he thinks he’s finally found after years of searching after a terrible accident at a Wizardly Academy.

    So, after my friend and the Half-Orc drink their share of the tea (which is really a potion of Plane Shift), they’re whisked away to the Shadowfell. There, they stare out across a mindless, numbing grandeur of Black Mountains that stretch for miles in all directions, with jet black lightning streaking across the sky. Everything is desolate and gray here, and that’s the way I wanted to portray it. The craggy peaks, the sharp rocks underfoot, the stale air, the impending gloom. I sent a sort of depressing landscape to my player. In the distance, my friend could see a solitary dwelling in the distance, presumably an abandoned castle of some sort. Anyway, after two days of crossing the rough terrain, they finally find a path that leads to the castle. It indeed leads them to their destination, and this is where my friend learned more about the plot I was making up.

    There was a cave to his right, about 20′ by 30′. It was quite dark, but due to his darkvision, my friend could see well into the gloomy interior. The Half-Orc stayed outside, not wanting to head in. He sensed, and told, my friend that not all seemed right. He refused to go in, so my friend went in alone.

    After succeeding at a DC 20 perception check, my friend noticed a shape in his drawn sword. There were two eyes atop a long, scaly snout, leading to two narrow nostrils, huffing with the odorless smoke that seemed to envelope it. Below those nostrils were rows of jagged teeth that looked like a crocodile’s. Two long, curly horns stood atop this creature’s head, giving it a commanding 12′ height.

    My friend ran like the dickens out the cave entrance, which frightened the Half-Orc only more, because footsteps that were smashing stone followed him, followed by a roar that could only mean one thing: this was a Dragon’s home.

    This is where I’ll post another comment later on, as I’m pooped and need to get back to work.

  6. yolo Says:

    Sorry, I just realized that I forgot to mention one crucial fact: they (the Half-Orc and my friend) had three possible destination at one point: the cave (to his right) the castle (in front of them, they had to cross a trestle to get across), and a sheer cliff that would require several very difficult skill checks to get down. My friend decided to go in the cave.

  7. yolo Says:

    *destinations

  8. Will Crawford Says:

    I’m back!

    So, with the Dragon hot on his heels, my friend charged out into the open, bowling into the Half-Orc, who squealed in fright. Moments later, the Dragon came into full view, his towering frame accompanied by charcoal gray scales. The only real color on the Dragon was the blue, wistful eyes.

    My friend, being lvl 1, decided to be diplomatic about the whole issue while the Half-Orc shank as far away from the Dragon as possible. After several VERY lucky skill checks, my friend had more or less made friends with the Dragon. At this point, rain that was black and burned like acid descended from the gloomy clouds above, and the Dragon asked my friend and the frightened Half-Orc into his cave. He said it was either come inside the cave, or be left out and have the meat on your body be washed away in the rain and bones cleaned. My friend decided to head inside, with the Half-Orc hurrying after him.

    Once inside, the Dragon and he had a conversation, with the Half-Orc shrinking as far as possible away from the Dragon, yet unwilling to leave my friend and head out into the rain. The Dragon gave several important tidbits of information, and his rage and being kept in the Shadowfell by his Master, who he said was a Vampire by the name of Count von Stravenoch. Thus, after much speech, the rain let up. Before my friend left, the Dragon gave him a gift to help him in his task in killing the Vampire: a masterwork silver longsword. After which my friend left the dwelling of the Dragon.

    My friend, upon stepping on the road, decided to scale down the cliff face to his left to avoid being seen by any who were on the ramparts of the castle/ruin/keep. After climbing for several hours. he finally reached the bottom, with the Half-Orc in tow, of course.

    When they reached the bottom, my friend immediately took stock of his surroundings.

    1) Night was falling.

    2) The landscape was the same as it was before, with rocky outcroppings every now and then. Same gray color, same dreary atmosphere. The cliff face he’d scaled down, some 120 ft, towered over him to the West. That was the end of the mountains. There were sharp rocks underfoot, and strange creature lurked in the Shadows. My friend decided to set camp under a crop of rock jutting out from the cliff face, and set a watch, switching out every 2 hours, with the Half-Orc volunteering to take the first shift.

    3) Several holes lay in the ground, unbeknownst to my friend, held nasty surprises, such as Shadowfell Groundsnakes.

    On the Half-Orc’s second shift, my friend heard muffled cries for help followed by the sound of crunching bones and gasps of agony. My friend drew his sword and raced outside to see one of the Groundsnakes coiling around the Half-Orc, powerful muscles popping rib bones and leaving the Half-Orc on the door of death. Thinking quickly, my friend slashed an almighty blow into the beast’s hide. As the monster snake rushed towards my friend, dropping the Half-Orc, my friend could make out the details of the beast.

    First, it was easily longer than him, almost 8 feet long.

    Second, when it opened its mouth, four flaps of the mouth opened, as if some was opening a screwdriver.

    Third, it looked super awesome, with no eyes and black skin. There was no pattern on it’s back, and the underbelly was all black.

    Then the thing hissed, reared its ugly head, and wrapped its massive body around our hero (my friend) and squeezed tight…

    More tomorrow!

  9. Will Crawford Says:

    my username is Will Crawford, but my previous posts were posted as yolo, so as to avoid confusion

  10. yolo Says:

    Sorry it’s been awhile.

    OK, so my friend was in the snake’s grip, every muscle in it’s body tightening and crushing my friend’s ribcage. Eventually, with some VERY lucky strength rolls, my friend manages to escape the embrace of the snake.

    Then, the Half-Orc, having picked up his axe and wobbling to his feet, charged the snake and swung at it with his axe, slashing a deep gash right below its neck. At this point, the snake tried to slink into its hole. However, my friend dropped his sword as it slunk down to its subterranean lair, pointed the grey goose feathered shaft into the inky blackness, and fired. The snake hissed and had its death throes, then became still.

    From here, they slept the rest of the night off, then prepared to climb this towering cliff before them, on which squated the dreaded Vampire’s keep.

    They climbed well into the evening, huffing and puffing. My friend rolled a natural 20 on his Climb check once, and thus bounced lightly from ridge to ridge like a mountain goat, climbing with ease in areas where a cat would struggle.

    The Half-Orc, on the other hand, used no such dexterity. Instead, he dug his claws into the cliff face and dug furrow into the bare rock, hauling himself up foot by foot, every muscle in his body bulging, teeth grinding together, sweat pouring down his brow and into his eyes. At one point, he faltered and almost fell, but my friend was able to haul him up over the few last centimeters. There, they sat gasping, their feet dangling over the cliff face below them.

    After several minutes of recovering their breath, my friend signaled for the Half-Orc to stay where he was while he went to scout out the terrain.

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