I know, it’s been over a month since I updated. Before I make excuses, a link!
I really thought this post was insightful, and thought I’d share it with those of you who have not succumbed to the awesome of Rob Donoghue.
Anyway, I’m sorry for neglecting this blog. Part of it is that I haven’t done as much gaming between NaNoWriMo and the holidays. Also, I’ve had other writing stuff going on of a non-gaming nature, which I’ve reported on at my writing blog (bolthy).
I also have been dithering about what to write about the last couple One Hit Wonders. They were a little a-typical, with one game being a playtest of a specific and non-standard one-shot for ACNW and the other being a re-run of a one-shot someone ran at GenCon. Neither were really fitting the mold of, “Let’s try and play with one of these games and see how the rules work.” I may do a brief recap of each of them, though.
But, with the new year we’ve started a few new games up. My girlfriend has started a Vampire: The Masquerade game that she has dubbed The City That Care Forgot game that she has started up. I sold her on Aspects instead of Merits/Flaws, and so we’re seeing how that goes. Unlike the Dragon Blooded game, we went with more of the Spirit of the Century model, with 4 Aspects covering pre-Embrace, and 6 Aspects coming from crossovers with other PCs. By a funny quirk of fate, we only have four players so that was enough for all PCs to have a crossover with each other.
We’ve only had one session of actual play, not counting character creation. It’s hard to get a sense of what the game will be like from this. Two of the players are veterans of the kids games I used to run. I think she’s getting a taste for how hard it can be to lure them into a plot.
I, in turn, have taken over the reins for my beer-and-pretzels game and am running a Scion: Hero game I’ve named Gods & Monsters. Because, you know, I’m the sort of dork who names his beer-and-pretzels game.
And, to be fair, I’m trying to have this be a notch above raw beer and pretzels. It’s a pickup game, and relatively low commitment. But I’m hoping to have a larger story arc that ties everything together. For the moment, I’ll admit, I’ve been overly enamored with with concepts for the scenarios they are dealing with and haven’t tied much of it into a larger storyline. So I had one scenario involving a troll under the Aurora Bridge. I had another involving werewolves. (It was going to be modeled off of the Big Bad Wolf, but I realized what I wanted him to do was a bit outside the powerlevel for the game, so I’ll save that for later.) In between there I had a tale involving a bunch of ninjas (shinobi, specifically, which are not to be confused with mortal Japanese assassins).
I always find it hard to provide a reasonable threat level. I think I did pretty good with the werewolves, while other encounters were outside of the PCs leagues and ended in, at best, a draw. I’ve tried to structure each session based off of the strengths of the PCs that are expected to be at the game. That’s been a little rough since I’ve had a few instances of people RSVPing “maybe,” I prepare for them and then they don’t show up. That has a weird sort of back-ripple into the rest of the game because the scenario I concocted encouraged the involvement of someone with specific abilities, and when the one person who has those abilities doesn’t show it makes the scenario that much harder.
I’ve also been gratified to have learned some lessons about choosing backdrops for cool conflicts. Fighting on the support beams under the Aurora Bridge (with cars rolling overhead) or a treasure that needs to be recovered from a tall office building have provided really great backdrops for over-the-top action. I’ll need to remember some of this next time I try to run Star Wars.
Overall I’ve enjoyed the Scion system. As hoped, it fixes a lot of what I disliked about Exalted. I’m not sure how well it will run once we shift from Hero to Demigod, but so far the mechanics have been just what I wanted.