Posts Tagged ‘Tag’s Folly’

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 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 80: The Vulgar Gods

October 15, 2009

The Dominions, in their interminable strife, built greater and greater weapons of war.  The greatest were the Vulgar Gods.

Originally intended as siege engines, the Vulgar Gods were autonomous, intelligent magical constructs given life by magic and transformed by metal.  They were grown in gelatinous vats, into which magical concoctions and deadly weapons would be placed.  The creatures that emerged varied greatly in appearance, but usually had the form of some beast, with appendages and weapons bristling from their bodies.  Their teeth could rend steel, their muscles could shatter armor, and their breath itself took a hundred deadly forms.  But most dangerous was their minds, for the Vulgar Gods were not mindless beasts, but rather imbued with a savage cunning.

The first Vulgar Gods were the size of horses, but as each Dominion sought to build greater weapons their ambitions grew.  Soon Vulgar Gods towered over buildings, wreaking destruction – seemingly on behalf of their masters.

Some tell that the Vulgar Gods pulled hard against the chains that bound them, but this is a fantasy. Made for war and destruction, they cherished their roles as the dealers of death, and sought more to stoke the flames of strife between the Dominions.  The monsters relished combat, and even sought it from others of their kind, so that the clashes of two Vulgar Gods would leave a wake of nightmares long after their battleground had been destroyed.  In time, they felt the animal urges to claim territory, and found cities and their ruins the most to their liking, for avarice ran hot in their veins, and in these places the greatest wealth could be hoarded.

Time, silver tongues, military might, and the ever present threat of massacre were all on the side of the monsters, and piece by piece, the old Dominions became their playthings.  With tentacles, feathered wings, distended eyes or bisected tails, the Vulgar Gods bludgeoned, tore, and strangled the life from the Dominions, until they were a thing we wept for, and we called our world the Wastes.

Day 75: The Dominions

October 10, 2009

Tiefers, Wasters, and others of the Dominions; ultimately, we all sinned.

The Spine should have divided the two Dominions, East and West, but these mountains and their hills were too rich, too tempting, too vast. How could they be a simple border?

So each step upon the Spine or its foothills became an affront. Each affront was answered with new manoeuvres, and each manoeuvre provoked outrage. Soon, both Dominions claimed rights to the entire Spine, and demanded rights to police the other to defend their claims.

War was inevitable, but inconstant. Crossing the Spine was ever treacherous, and each side savaged the other while failing to secure benefit for themselves. So as each caught their breath, there were times of armistice and treaties, and short gasps of peace. But no observer or historian could deny: the Dominions could not but war with one another, unto their destruction.

That destruction came not at each other’s hands, but was instigated by those efforts.  The Dominions, remember, fell because of what they created.  They fell because of the Vulgar Gods.