State of the Gaming

Commentary about games I’m in right now. Thrilling!

The Werewolf game I’ve been in has been on a hiatus.With the holidays it was just too hard to coordinate our schedules, so our next session won’t be until January. Frustrating, but not much to be done about it. There has also been some mention of changing the format of the game. That will probably be discussed at our next session.

I believe it was last session that we had our initiation ritual and got our renown. I didn’t get a whole lot of renown. I’d been trying to play my Ragabash Bone Gnawer to the hilt. I don’t know that I was the most clever, but I was sneaky and irreverent, so I figured I was doing my job. What I didn’t consciously realize was that Renown in old Werewolf was only based around Glory, Wisdom and Honor. I was neither glorious nor wise nor honorable. It made me better understand the reasoning behind the change in Renown in Werewolf: The Forsaken. In W:tF, each Auspice (and tribe, for that matter) has their own branch of Renown. The three flavors of Renown in W:tA seem to only emphasize three of the Auspice roles. Something to keep in mind for the future.

The D&D game continues and I’m still having fun. I missed a couple sessions but we’re back in the swing of things. I’m becoming more comfortable with the mechanics, to the point of being able to help out others. The mechanical emphasis on combat is still frustrating, but I’ll live.

The beer-and-pretzels Exalted game I’ve been playing continues to be fun. A couple of players don’t seem to enjoy it as much, likely showing up out of social obligation. But two of us are at least enjoying it.

I’ve finally started to get combos. It’s been an exercise in (a) becoming familiar with what Charms you have available and (b) knowing what is important in a combo. It’s taken me a few years to reach this point. Yeesh.

The sobering take away is the vast power differential you have between someone who knows how to string together a combo and someone who doesn’t. My characters are invariably relatively high concept, even in hack-and-slash game. So I tend to just pick Charms that fit my concept. Seeing what you can do when you string together the right mix of attack and damage boosting charms is… scary. My character manages 2-3 boxes of damage in an average fight. Another character averages 30-40 when he busts the combo out.

As I mentioned in my private blog, this highlighted for me that I don’t know that I can now really run a straight-up Exalted game. Especially not with the presumed intention of serious roleplay. Most of my favorite roleplayers are great at crafting stories, not so great at mechanics. (And, really, I’m not spectacular at it either.) I just can’t juggle GMing and hand-holding with something like Exalted. =P

That said I’m still willing to consider running a game of Dragon-Blooded characters. Combos don’t seem to be as make-or-break at that power level as they are for Solars/Lunars/Abyssals. (I can’t speak for Sidereals.) I’ve been wanting to try and re-create the experience from the first half of In Dolor Veritas. The challenge is having the right group to run it for. I would need a larger group to really get the feel of that family cluster thing. I mean, technically I could just have four players as the children of one household, but that loses some of that energy. Thought will be needed on this.

My current rule is that I’m only allowed to run something new if I drop two games from my plate.

The kids game continues to go fine. It’s been interesting to see my GM prep work evolve as the game has gone on. For a long time I had been trying to do more advance prep to organize my games a lot better. Lack of time has resulted in a lot more GMing off the cuff and less taking notes. Even when I have stuff thought out in advance, I don’t write much of it down. It’s left the game a little superficial I think, but the kids don’t notice.

I’m considering subjecting them to the “family cluster” model for the next game, dragging them out of the World of Darkness. I’ve approached some of them about it already and have had some positive response. I’ve tried to give them a variety of options: Exalted: Dragon-Blooded, 7th Sea, Legend of the Five Rings, Star Wars, Fading Suns, maybe even something generic using D&D or Savage Worlds.

I was flattered by one responses from the kids, “To keep my answer plain and simple, I don’t really mind which setting we do. I will play in all of them because you make games fun.”

That’s as good as it gets. =) I’ll try not to spoil the joy of that statement with cynical commentary. ;)

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