More ideas, and some progress

So, it’s been good and bad. The bad being the convention we planned to host a Nerf event has been canned, but good, because we’re still planning to ahead with it. True, we don’t know where or when yet, but given the amout of effort we’ve put it, we don’t want to abandon it. We might offer the plot to the Zedtown orgs but we’ll see how that goes.

Moving on to other events, there’s been further movement on the post apoc game. Not to the extent of booking a venue and having a start date, but I’m planning to kick it off early next year. What has happened is adventure ideas and plot! I was wracking my brains out trying to come up with ideas, but with some prodding from the lovely and talented wife (She who knows all) yesterday, a half remembered idea of basing them around Iron Maiden songs came to light. So, the opening game? Brave New World. Local water hole drying up? Rainmaker. And so on and so on. I’ve now got several albums worth of plots – some may wind up being thrown out or re-written, but sorting out what I plan to do is making me feel a lot better about the thing. Actually having a plan is a novelty for both my game and campaigns, one I’m hoping to break. I usually come up with a plot first and then try to build a world, or hope players will contribute to it in game.  That doesn’t always work, but when it does it works wonderfully.

There’s been a lot of late night nerves and thinking “Oh fuck, this a massive project and can I actually do this?” I’ve had to keep some resolve to want to keep working on it – the black dog’s a hell of a thing. I want to run the thing for my growth as a GM (I adore running my regular B-movie games, but want to expand from time to time) and for my mental health, as a way of keeping myself busy. Furthermore, there’s not any games of the sort running around here and I’d like to think I’ve a varied enough concept and setting that it’ll stand out. And Dropbears. 🙂 So, to the people who’ve said encouraging things, I thank you.

I’m also writing a Feng Shui adventure, either for an upcoming convention of a regular household games day. I don’t have a plot, or a real idea of one, which is different to how my events normally start. Generally, there’s an idea such as ‘What would happen if someone tried to infect Louis XIII with lycanthropy?’ or ‘What about a badass Ewok special forces unit?’ For this one, all I have so far is the idea of setting the final conflict on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and slightly reskinning the Everyday Hero Archetype to be more ‘All Australian Yobbo’. Equipment: Hotted up ute, 6 pack  of VB and the complete works of Bon Scott era AC/DC. Less Chow Yun Fat (Who will still be appearing somehow, because you don’t not use him in Feng Shui) and more Poida. Hey, I never said it was a good idea…

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Have you tried, not being an adventurer?

AKA “I used to be an adventurer but then I had to explain it to my family.”

So, last night’s D&D session got a little strange. Smallcloths got discussed again, a level was gained, they didn’t get in trouble with the law and the Wizard had another bath! A recap follows, though it’s likely to be very out of sequence as I was both improvising a lot of the adventure and laughing even more. As always, my players are welcome to correct me.

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“He’s not high-strung, he’s not a Bard!”

After dealing with the Night Druids, the newly 3rd level party had moved to a local tavern to eat and discuss their next move. While the Paladin (AKA Doctor Love) was attempting to matchmake, it was decided to go back to the Roaringhorns estate (Minus the Rogue, who went home to bed) to join back in with the seemingly perpetual party, both to see if any further developments had ensued and so the Ranger can catch up with the Half Orc she might be hot for. Both of those things ensued, with the Fighter being told that one Denius Huntsilver, a young Noble who was training as a Druid had vanished a couple of years back on an expedition. The Wizard pocketed more cheese and the Ranger some meat, as she’s gathering spell components (50GP of fine foods and rare herbs) to help find her animal companion. Unfortunately, the kitchen doesn’t have the 11 secret herbs and spices needed. The Ranger (Having lured the sexy Half-Orc outside) was also planning to free the animals from the local zoo, which kind of petered out. That wasn’t exactly what the Half-Orc was expecting, but he was too polite to say. The Wizard’s cockney accent continues to be contagious and may well be the local accent now.

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“Sharks are the bears of the sea.”

The Paladin took a by now very drunken Wizard back to the temple and left him in the bath, propped up so he won’t drown. This resulted in a very strange wakeup call (Waking up naked in a bath is one thing, but also being surrounded by a bunch of ab-tacular Priests of Sune?) I can’t blame him for screaming*. The higher ups at the temple have politely indicated that could anyone else he brings back please be quieter, but I doubt that’s going to happen. The Ranger and Fighter made their way to the Rogue’s estate, where, in an unprecedented shock, he was awake before noon. This resulted in the rest of the party spontaneously NPC’ing his family, who were less than thrilled by his adventuring hobby, with his father demanding he go back to bed and not return until at least noon. The longer it went on the more I thought I should stop it and get back to the adventure, but it was too much fun. Eventually they all left to go see a Druid about a thing (With his mother sneaking him a package containing some iron spikes and a supportive note as they were leaving). I’m now planning to meet family of the other PC’s along the way.

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“We’re a temple of love, it get’s loud.”

The Druid, offically known as Anarakin but called Charlie by the Paladin, told them the tale of an expedition into the mountains a few years ago (Oddly close to the town the Ranger keeps talking about saving from a bear, a story which most of Waterdeep has heard by now), from which few returned, the rest having been torn apart by some horrific beasts. He knew of one survivor’s whereabouts, so the party went seeking the Cliffwatch Inn to find her. The Paladin took over over her job serving tables so she could talk to the rest of the party, and she told of how the young Denius was a bit full of himself, but wasn’t a bad lad. All of a sudden, there’s horrible screams from the kitchen and *cliffhanger sting!*

Further instalments from the quote file:
“How could it be under the sea if there was a bear?”
“Egg-bearing hips!”
“That’s a terrible idea.” “You just haven’t drunk enough.”
The Google image searches Bear in a Kilt and Bear Nun. Yeah, they’re worth it.
“Large people are probably bears.”
The idea of Watherdhavian speed-dating.

So, even less got done than I was expecting (I should stop panicking pre-game about not having enough plot for them), but it was funnier than I could have hoped for. In a fortnight from now, what is happening in the kitchen? Was the young Noble killed, or was he colluding with the monsters? Who are the thieves with the tattoos and how are they conected with the Night Druids? Will the Wizard bathe again? Hopefully some of these questions will be answered!

*We mostly avoided jokes about a naked 13 year old with a bunch of Priests. It was for the best.

It’s a battery commercial

So why am I looking around my house wanting to yell WHO KEEPS CUTTING ALL THE ONIONS AROUND HERE?

It hit me even harder than last year’s one did but neither of them can compare to this one… That one didn’t just hit my paternal instinct, it smacked into it at light speed with the weight of several million tons. It’s why I was so damn nervous showing A New Hope to Niece, Then Age 7. I didn’t used to feel this way. Perhaps age has bought something worthwhile with it, something more than grey hair and the impulse to yell “Get the hell off my lawn!” at people?

Nananana nananana Night Druids!

Some D&D groups function like clockwork, well-oiled machines of destruction. Rogues and Rangers take point, clearing the way, followed up by the Fighters and Paladins. Barbarians rampage through the battle, with Wizards and  Sorcerers hurling arcane energy in precise blasts. Clerics offer support and healing, helping to clear up any messes left behind or monsters un-muderered. Everything has a place, the group functions smoothly and dungeons are neatly looted, with barely a copper piece left behind. And then there’s the group I DM for…02_latest-story_heroes_sub-header_140707-png“You’ll need better pants than that to fight me!”

While investigating a corpse that was found with a tail attached to it (And wearing nothing but it’s boots, something there was no small amont of fixation on), they had found their way to a garden maze, which the locals said was mostly used by young lovers for illicit trysts. The Dragonborn Ranger had been talking to a squirrel (Soon named Prince Frederick, the Champion of Squirrels!) nearby who had identified a bad smell and scary people at the center of the maze. They then proceeded to stealthily lay waste to the cultists and save the day! Actually no… What followed was a long discussion on smallclothes (Started in part by the Gnome Wizard and his thoughts about his robe) and while the Ranger had attempted to lead them through the maze things weren’t going well.

ph-barroom-brawl“No, you can’t set the fog on fire.”

The Paladin, (Having found time to change into his secret identity of that most noble and pretty vigilante, the White Rose), proceeded to leap onto the Ranger’s shoulders and ride her along like cavalry, which meant he could now see above the maze and direct them far more efficiently (AKA, at all). Also, sniffing someone’s crotch doesn’t determine their identity. The Dragonborn hasn’t quite got the hang of civilisation yet. There was a minor setback thanks to an errant crossbow bolt (Actually a spell, but I wasn’t telling them that) and they finally made it to the enter of the maze. Given the noise they were making, there was no chance they hadn’t been observed (Along with a well placed Alarm spell) and while they accquitted themselves quite well and captured one of the cultists (The Rogue took a few stabs, as did the Ranger and Paladin), the mysterious person leading the ritual managed to escape (FUCK YES Pass Without Trace). There was an attempt to leap over the hedge to follow them, which was closely followed by the hedge being set on fire. At that point the law arrived, though not the possible love intererest Watch Sergeant they sassed mightily last session, but a more “I’m getting too old for this sort of shit” type.

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“There’d be a lot of dead people.” “No, just some.”

The White Rose and Wizard both vanished (The Wizard is a street wizard see, and might have a record) with the rest of the party left to explain how they keep finding themselves in close proximity to corpses. The Watch, like Queen Victoria, are not amused. What followed was more sass, as the Watch bagged and tagged the evidence, and a bucket chain put the out the fire in the hedge. More investigation followed, and the loot counted (Which was mysteriously light) along with dinner, with the Ranger planning a suit of armour for Prince Frederick. As we leave our intrepid band, they disovered that the ceremony appeared to be venerating Malar, the Beastlord and God of the Hunt. This sort of thing isn’t really in keeping with worshippers of Malar (As far as they know), and as we fade out and roll credits the plan is to contact some of the local Druid circles.

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“Why do we need to elevate the boudoir?”

I might sound like I’m ripping on them for incompetence and that’s really not it. For all they might lack in efficiency, seriousness and staying on plot (A lack of which almost perfectly sums up my GM’ing style) , they more than make for up for by being a hell of a lot of fun to GM for.Really, if they were on target and organised, I’m not sure I could run that sort of game. I’d try, but I think it’d drive me mad. There was I nervous that I hadn’t prepared enough plot, but no, with their customary attention to messing about and investigating random bits of flavour I’ve come up with off the top of my head, I’ve got a good setup for next session. I suppose I should actually decide what the overarching plot will be, or who their mysterious patron actualy is, but I’m having too much fun. Next session’s in a fortnight – I should start writing that one before the day of the game.

Annoying paternal instinct.

The only Supergirl I’ve seen was the 6 minute preview of the pilot a while back and a variety of press shots. I’m reliably informed it’s really good and I mean to get around to watching it, once I catch up on Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. The second Superhero Fight Club promo on the other hand, has me wanting to watch the show NOW and to have daughters to show it to.

(My wife continues to accuse me of wanting daughters solely because I get to name them. That might slightly have influenced me…)

Sydcon 2016: A Recap

So, another Sydcon is over and I’m stuck in a mix of sleep deprivation fog and brain exhaustion. As always, after the first 2 sessions everything becomes a blur. I maintain no small amount of jealously for GM’s who can keep better track of their notes, or have enough brain space to remember individual events and quotes from their games. My event seemed to go quite well – a lot of my regulars were back, as were the demands for a sequel to Fair and Balanced, my Fox News anchors game. (It’s not happening people – you can write them yourselves) I’m sitting here looking at my sheets covered in notes and quotes and have no idea who the monsters responsible for them are. Though what does that makes me, who wrote the thing in the first place? Highlights include 2 groups making friends with the giant sabertooth tiger, while the party’s wizard was consistently (And frequently incredibly) creepy, with several players powering his spells with his own blood, while one player decided to sacrifice two NPC’s to summon a giant snake to fight the creature dubbed Frogthulhu. Selected quotes follow:

“My tiger steak brings all the boys to the yard”
“You’re working for a Stygian, not a Stingyian”
*maniacal laugh* “I just destroyed a civilisation!”
“Seasickness is good for the figure”
“If this works I’ll be hanging off you like a Boris Vallejo painting”
“What? I do snakes, not tigers”
“Suprise dentistry, my least favorite kind”
And lastly, from the playest: “They took my tiger penis?

I only managed to play one game, but that one was more than worth it. What one you ask? That was Rapture: The End of Days, from the fine folks at Storyweaver. It’s a fantastic system that my team have been playing from the beginning (One of the GM’s is still smug that we had t-shirts made, we love the game that much), where hell has returned and dying in a spectacular manner is rewarded. (Given my knack for dice rolling, that’s a useful thing.) To cut a long story short, a robot/alien/thing woman was attempting to coax information from my character, and the GM got up, ran his hands over my shoulder and started whispering in my ear. I’m told it was as uncomfortable to watch as to experience, which helps calm my nightmares somewhat. I remembered the game got intense, but it had been a few years since I’d played one and had forgotten just how intense they got. It’s all in game, but from time to time there’s games where it takes zero effort to act creeped out and that was one of them.

Yes, I was in the process of trying to betray the rest of the party at the time (Being a secret government agent), but I managed to fuck myself over incredibly well (Gaining 6 fear in a very short amount of time) before having my face eaten off by a demon I’d agreed to serve in exchange for booze and being able to cut myself. Picking up a trophy for it (Actually it was the entire team that got it) was most gratifying. My wife on the other hand, as one person commented, she put’s the trophy in trophy wife. Her haul:

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WordPress refuses to align this properly and I’m too tired to care

As for my next event, that’s up in the air. Sure, the Nerf event is booked for Macquarie Con (And we’ve a lot of work to do), but it does feel a little odd not having an event already chosen for Eyecon next year. Maybe another swashbuckler? The Star Trek event I’m working on with another coup will likely be next Sydcon at the earliest. I could even take the con off and play – it’s be the first time in several years that’s happened. Something to ponder for the future. Off to do some gardening now.