Posts Tagged ‘4e’

Day 100: The Bitter End.

November 4, 2009

Well, here we are, 100 days. This is a bitter pill for me; I had goals and hopes for a new project, and frankly, most of them didn’t work out, and while most of that wasn’t within my control, I know I made several crucial mistakes. Tag’s Folly was supposed to be a way for me to game more frequently and meet new people, provide gamers in Toronto with something they wanted, and prove that I could take on a big project on top of everything else that I do.

What follows is my postmortem.

What worked:

  1. The daily blogging schedule.
  2. Meeting new gamers.
  3. Getting more games in.

What didn’t work:

  1. I had the impression that there was a big pent-up demand for D&D 4e GMing; as it turned out there was … a little, and with a bunch of work you could get a group together.  But it wasn’t easy, as I’d hoped it would be, and that meant it took a long time for any of the organizers that did step up to schedule a session.
  2. I  didn’t get the rush of enthusiasm I was hoping for; everyone who organized sessions – and I appreciate their work – expressed that wasn’t really that much fun compared to how hard it was to get people together.  In some cases that meant straight drop-offs, leaving me with the task of “selling” the game to people to find organizers.
  3. The 4e ruleset, played by the book and prepped in advance is not conducive to a low-key campaign, and thus the 4e game would never be a self-sustaining organism.
  4. GTA transit kind of sucks; people just can’t get around, and when I run a game and have to spend 2 hours getting home, it hurts pretty bad.
  5. Real life threw me a few curveballs, particularly on the family and work side, and that derailed me pretty seriously.  Of course I set out on this trajectory when things were looking up, and when things got turbulent, and then outright sucktacular, I had to rein something in.  Unfortunately by the time that happened, the 4e campaign was the only thing in my life that I could really rein in.

What I learned:

  1. D&D is a game for people with basements, cars, and a lot more spare time than I have.
  2. When you get your name out there for running a game like this, all your old gamer friends remember you and start inviting you to their games.  You can quickly become a victim of your own success.
  3. A general appraisal of risks is a good idea even for personal projects.
  4. I hate prep that doesn’t get into a session right away.
  5. 4th edition is a better drill and a worse omnitool than previous editions.   It’s much harder to get it to do something different without hacking the rules, and the rules are much harder to hack.
  6. West Marches games are social monsters; there are a lot of uncharted social waters that you wade into and unless you’re a real extrovert, it will be stressful to run them.  This goes doubly for strangers.
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Day 85: Heççians

October 20, 2009

As the Dominions tore themselves apart, none watched with more delight than the accursed Heççians.  These creatures hailed from a time long forgotten, and even their ruined hive-cities were a terrible threat to the peoples of modernity.

Heççians, it is said, combined the features of elegant humans and vicious wasps.  Their alien calculations defied mortal understanding, and made every place they touched an altar to their horrific god, the Zinya.  Histories say that the Heççians took many slaves, disfiguring them in the likeness of the Zinya, or piercing their bodies and making them living hosts for the Heççian’s demented larvae.

Battling the Heççians was one of the few threats that could unite the Dominions, though only for a time, and some of the greatest Dominion-era sorcery was worked to eradicate Heççian hives, or seal the Heççians away from the light of the sun, which they crave.

We are blessed that few have been seen in  the age after the Dominions, but somewhere they may still lurk, drawing designs on the walls of their prisons wherein the entire world becomes a monstrous hive.

Day 83: Health & Hiatus

October 18, 2009

In the last month I’ve had some health and family issues come up at the same time. I didn’t want them to affect my gaming, but they’ve become serious and I have to put my family first, my health second, and gaming somewhere after.

I’m putting the Tag’s Folly 4e D&D game on an indefinite hiatus; I can’t say when or if I’ll be running it again.

I’m really, really sorry to have to do this.  I wanted to meet and provide GMing for gamers in Toronto, and I’m sorry that I can’t.

If anyone wants to GM in the world of Tag’s Folly, I’d be happy to give everything I’ve got done (which boils down to my blog, the encounter envelopes, and parts in my brain) and answer any questions.  I’ll let the canned items in the blog run out, which will take me to around post #100.

The game just needs more than I can give right now.

Day 82: Take 10 attack!

October 17, 2009

I’m seriously considering allowing players to Take 10 on attack rolls as another game-quickener that doesn’t affect the character sheet.

Also, from here on out the questions you ask in your Take 10s will become topics of daily blog posts.  I’ll start giving them a Take 10 category and tag.

Day 81: Treasure and Experience

October 16, 2009

There have been some questions about rewards, since I’ve brought them up in the past as something I may tinker with.

On the experience end, I am working on something that will give extra XP for a faster game, since that’s more fun for me.  I’m not sure I want to incentivise talky encounters because they’re part of the game’s exploration agenda – which only has an indirect relationship to the advancement chart (i.e. finding new zones).

When it comes to treasure, the Wastes are as I design them, not tailored to PCs.  However, if you’re trying to go in a particular direction for loot, consider poking around in the Take 10 process and asking more questions.  Not questions like “where can i find a sweet +2 Longsword?” Instead, try for something in the fiction: “Who were the great warriors of the Big Tribe?” or “In the old Dominion, where were the major mining and metalworking centers?”

Remember that my resources to work on the game are finite, and that (short of mounting an expedition) the Take 10 process is probably your best bet for shaping what it is I’m spending my time on while prepping.