Of drunk Samurais at parties.

•08/08/2010 • Leave a Comment

The hours between 15:00 on 7.8. and 15:00 8.8, I was at a bros party. I met folks I didn’t meet for a whole year and my entire old group was there. There was little talk of traditional games, but around lunchtime, people started telling me how they’d like to game sometime.

First off, I did what I wanted to do ever since I read a wonderful thread on gaming night organization on /tg/ and told them, that “I was the GM, I did all the work and prep, they just showed up with a charsheet (which they probably forgot it or I had it) and weren’t completely high (which they probably were anyway)” and that “From now on, organization is delegated, and I’ll join the mass of people who never clearly state they will be at a given time in a given place”. It felt great, the delegated person was shocked and baffled by me telling him to fucking do something for his enjoyment and that even boosted the feeling of well-being.

As a nerd, I didn’t feel quite comfortable in my skin going to a party without some shower gel, shampoo,  my hairbrush, some extra clothes, dice and my beloved LL softcover. I didn’t really think we’d play, but I liked the prospect of having something to read and maybe even have DM tools for the potential party. This was an unrealistic hope; even 0e has a lot of stuff I can’t keep in my head, combat charts, monster stats, etc. The chances of playing 0e as a pick-up game in a gaming enviroment are fairly good, but not at a party where the mood is lax and well, set on partying.

Now I do have a special place in my heart for rules-light games, because deep inside I truly believe there is a way to simulate life and figure out how to win at it, but I’d prefer my simulation and walkthrough to be concise. So imagine my delight, as we’re leaving for the bus in the final 30 minutes of the allocated party time and I get to run a quick game of Samurai RPG.

I didn’t actually remember how samurai RPG worked. I knew it had this wonderful sentence in it “there is only one stat on your entire charsheet, skill. It’s 0-100.” Go read the actual rules on 1d4chan, I only had my creativity and a phone stopwatch as a d10. I ran with the following:

Samurai have 30+1d10 skill. Non-samurai have 1d10. In combat, both combatants roll 1d100. Anyone who rolls under his skill, succeeds and gets to either disarm or kill the other. Disarmed opponents only get killed. Losing face is worse than death.

That’s it.

I was nervous about having a plot handy, I had this tingling I always get before pushing my showman abilities, like when I’m about to take a stage unprepared. A bro was wearing a metallica t-shirt with some lightning bolts, so I told myself, “storm elemental messing with village”. This was my ammo, general unpreparedness was my forest and lack of gaming was my enemy. I also had my kinda gay bro Kasiak around, with a kazoo that I tried to use as a sort of interlude thing, that played in the background while I delivered GM text, kabuki-style. It didn’t work too well, but I liked the idea.

My players consisted of Fofo, the metallica guy, and my main bro. As expected, everyone went on to do bullshit and mostly we just had improv fun running from stupid situation to stupid situation. Chargen was quick, my main bro was a bland boring samurai, Fofo was a drunk samurai with a bloody blade, the metallica guy had a simple samurai, but really, he was the closest to what I wanted those fags to play. Someone interjected “so, you all meet at a tavern”. We laughed, and I rolled with it.

“That’s right. You’re in a tavern. Why is that?”

See what I did there; I DELEGATED THE WORK. They start shit, they gotta creatively get out of it. The drunk guy had his excuse. The others? Less so. “We were drinking.” That was as good an answer as any. “Fine, so you get the bill. You have no money.” CONFLICT. The metallica guy was laid back, just pointed at my main bro. The drunk guy acted piss drunk. Resolution? Metallica tells main bro he gotta work it off, cleaning dishes. YOU INSULTED HIS HONOR, YOU CAN’T LOSE FACE. “Shit yes, duel.” Both disarmed. I was not sure how well this would count in matters of keeping face, but I realized I didn’t want them to off each other, especially not in a lengthy dice battle. We all agreed that machismo was presented, faces were preserved. The third samurai was OK with all this. Main bro did the dishes.

We arrived at the bus.

This is how you create a tiny, bite-sized session with no prep whatsoever, a non-smartphone phone for dice and a hatred for life. Also, metallica guy got to play his first RPG. It was a good intro I think. We should tell him about the real-life magic you learn at level 5, later on.

You know, you can probably extract the valuable stuff better than a summary and I want to write more shitposts.

/tg/ posts are a the only literary genre I’m comfortable with

•25/06/2010 • 1 Comment

File : 1277476789.gif-(102 KB, 465×428, 100628_cartoon_035_a15027_p465.gif)
102 KB Anonymous 06/25/10(Fri)10:39 No.10734035

Good day /tg/

Upstart monarch returns to his uncivilized shitty frozen shithole north homeland, unites it and starts doing a fair job at innovating the place. On one hand he sets up schools, sets up a non-retarded agricultural reform and generally tries to get nomads to settle down and stop being illiterate inwarring fucks.

On the other he goes straight down the “oh no we played god” pitfall. In a stroke of genius, he sets up the mad necromancer he used to travel the south with, with a huge budget to create a literal “dead hand” system.

Beautifully anachronistic lab-bunkers get set up every few miles along the border, and while we’re at it, let’s create a second, tighter line. The plan is, if someone manages to breach a sector, the respective tower goes on-line and raises the dead, preferably in a dirt-colored environment reminiscent of STALKER. Optionally, those of the magical persuasion or those of weak will join the ranks of the newly formed defense force straight away, cutting the middleman, who in this case is death.

At this point I’m not sure what could be done with this as a plot seed. PCs are invading army, PCs are defending army, PCs are random bystanders during war, PCs are random bystanders who happen to be near when the thing malfunctions OR and this is my personal favorite: PCs are troubleshooters investigating malfunctioning (OR ARE THEY?@!?) towers and end up in the medieval equivalent of Delta Green.

P.S: I came up with this shit minutes ago under the shower, combining the nightmares yesterday’s “creepy shit to put in your games” thread caused, (number stations, shit yes,) the brain scorcher and my ambitious and doomed to die horribly DnD character from a campaign long dead.

>> Anonymous 06/25/10(Fri)10:40 No.10734040

>>10734035

Oh final note: I just felt like releasing this, no editing and all. /tg/ is the only proper outlet for this manner of crap. Feel free to ignore, cool story bro, etc.

S&W skill system

•31/05/2010 • 6 Comments

So guys, I have decided to adapt the DnD 3.5 skill system into my S&W game because of it’s superiority to-

I had you there for a second. No, I jest of course, I’ve been made to hate 3.5 with the passion of a million suns, (possibly unjustly so,) but even if I were to reconsider, I wouldn’t want to smear just anything on the beauty that is S&W. But today I had a thought concerning something a player did once;

The group was fighting two Giant Ants, one was a simple 1HD monster, the other had some mad poison and 2HD, both rolled pretty high HP.  At some point, one of the players went on into detail about Ant anatomy to support his battle plan, flipping the ant on the back. On the spot, I gave him an XP reward, and told him to write “entomologist” on his sheet, because, apparently he knew his insects.

I’ve thought about this today. How could he use this to his advantage? I’ve come up with this; when the character is stuck at anything, say, because of bad rolls, (CoC “search check failed” dead-end scenario) he could make shit up about how he uses this to his advantage, and roll the d6, (the one die I use for skill checks,) and hope for a better result.

Say the PCs are trying to establish the time of creation of some tracks. Thief fails. Suggests, he finds some insect remains, wants to determine their degree of decomposition. Reroll: Acceptable.

Now in retrospect, I would’ve allowed him to reroll even without the “skill” on his sheet, providing he gave me a good story about him checking out the insect remains. The sheet would merely be useful as leverage in trying to make me agree to a reroll. I would probably give him the skill at that point.

So in summary, things are staying utterly freeform and rule-less for me, with skill being badges of honor and proofs of expertise, rather than numbers. I’m okay with that.

And honestly, I’d fudge the dice in the party’s favour anyway. I’d be backpedaling like a motherfucker once I realized I screwed up and got into a dead end.

Ditch dat shit

•18/05/2010 • 4 Comments

I ditched my group! I finally got to a point where their bullshit was unsurmountable and decided never to come back. Allow me to recap the last month.

The Bro broke up with The Girl. It seemed weird, but even she said it was a clean surgical separation, no drama. I mailed him about it, he kept a polite professional tone, explained she acted whack, something about relationships. Anyway, that left me with only the kender-lover and the Neckbeard. I at least wanted to finish this campaign, so I asked how many sessions to wrap it up.

“One, tops.”

Can you be disappointed when you expected failure? I honestly don’t know. But at least the end is nigh, so let us run towards the edge; we tell the DM we want out ASAP, he is, begrudgingly, OK with that.

We exit the sidequest town we spent most time in, go north, reach city where we were told the Rogue’s brother is. I don’t even remember if he became a mafia lord or medieval FBI or got hunted by either. Or all of the above, that would actually be pretty hilarious. We don’t have any leads on where the guy is in the town, so we go to the tavern, seeing as there’s no sanctioned thieves guild.

What follows is quite the point-and-click; we ask tavernkeep, he tells us about bandits in tavern, we follow them through town up to point in forest where they mount up on horses, we can’t follow. We return to tavern, give tavernkeep money he points us to townhouse. We search townhouse, completely empty. Cellar has hidden jail in it. On cell has a bear, one her brother. He doesn’t want to talk either, he’s just being a smartass, like all jailed hostages deprived of food and light and clothes. I can’t take this shit, rogue takes over talks, confirms identity, game end.

Thank fuck there was booze. Only halfways decent thing about that session.

We didn’t decide on what everyone wanted to play, I listed literally all /tg/ homebrews, special focus on Viral’s games, 2 gigs of RPG folder and some mentions. No-one agreed on anything for two weeks, because nobody was capable of playing anything other than threeeeeeee point fiiiiiiiive. I’ve grown to hate post 2nd-ed DnD. Fantasycraft was suggested. I asked /tg/, they said it was a rules-heavier 3.5. So yeah, NO.

Out of jest I suggested V:tM on week three. Surprisingly all showed interest. I asked whether there were character ideas; none for girl, SWAT angel of vengeance for Neckbeard. Brainstorming reveals Girl has great interest in a any character concept that would blatantly violate the masquerade. “Let’s call it a night.”

I think there might have been one more session where nothing was decided and the Neckbeard wanted to add another guy he knew who played 2 campaigns already. I guess I couldn’t take the thought of GMing for experienced players again, having never played the game.

I sent a mail citing “personal reasons”, NEVER TO RETURN.

MONTAGE OF ME RUNNING OUT OF THE HOUSE, JUMPING IN THE CAR, RIDING INTO THE SUNSET! ENTHUSIASM AND HAPPINESS, CREDITS ROLL

Now I’m without a group, wondering if this is better than having a bad group. I’m OK with this right now, I’ve failed to get an IRC game together but OK with that too. I think I could do with a break right about now.

Anticlimatic climaxes and other innuendo

•19/04/2010 • Leave a Comment

The Girl’s boyfriend apparently “broke up” with her and our game got turned into a social get-together. We talked a bit, but really only got to two things; There was a general desire to play and that people have no taste. I brought up the option of other games. I listed everything in my dropbox, everything I could name off the top of my head and some from 1d4chan. I like to claim it was at least 20 games. There was conflict though; someone doesn’t want modern, someone doesn’t want scifi, someone doesn’t want maids (you know who doesn’t want maids? Faggots, that’s who,) but somehow, NO-ONE OBJECTS TO CLICHE FANTASY. (Guess who does.) (I do.)

We left on an undecided note, but I pushed for a conclusion at least to the goddamn “rogue looking for sibling” arc. How fast can the DM wrap it up? “One session tops.” Makes you rage when you realize the apparent “sidequest” took about 4 games and counting. We then met at the GM’s house a week later (a surprisingly clean flat in a surprisingly clean neighborhood, sans his room which looked like mine if I don’t expect guests) we got treated to some booze, so that was OK. The game itself felt like the average “you didn’t pick the DM’s obvious choice of action so you’re lost” scenario.

We left the village we spent so much time in, just like that, got to the city where we were supposed to find this sibling of hers. The absence of descriptions in this game was mind-boggling. If something didn’t get described with the exact adjective that was in it’s very name, we got treated to a joke. “The shady tavern, do-ho-ho.” (I don’t know if I want to ever laugh again.)

And we follow a group of bandits. We get confronted with a problem; not getting spotted. We solve that by dividing and leaving chalk marks. We enter woods, we kinda get through the night. Then the thieves saddle up. What the fuck. Am I supposed to carry the halfling now? “Naw, that wouldn’t work”

See, protip; if a sarcastic over-the-top remark is our best option AND not a successful solution, then you’re probably doing it wrong. Seriously, we jumped through two hoops, I was pretty content with that, but then we get punched in the dick and all is turned to nil? What was the point of the other two things then? Following them is impossible, so we return with empty hands to the shady tavern again. We give coins to the tavernkeep, because that’s how things work, you give coins to the NPC so the quest status is updated OH NO 4e IS TEH VIDYAGAEM

Sorry. Lost my train of thought there. Point is, we get directed to some house or other, owned by either the local fantasy FBI equivalent or the bandits working for the rogues sibling, I’m really not sure. We enter through the back door, no one seems to be home. We search the building, it’s set up to look like a townhouse, but as we’re pretty directly told, it’s a front, books are fake, no photos. The basement is the obligatory dungeon, albeit a simple one. I was kinda confused about the mapping; we got presented to some simple maps of both ground level and the basement, but well made. It felt like the tiny diagrams took more prep time than what I assume would’ve otherwise been the plot.

Anyway, we explore a single corridor with a single turn that leads to a torture chamber. It’s empty. On the sides, there’s empty cells, on the corner, there’s a bear in a cell. I don’t even ‘wat’ at this point. The single one thing of any relevance in the last hour of gaming time is a guy in his cell.

He’s jackin’ it. Not even surprised.

I try exchanging a few words, but this person apparently after a week or more of imprisonment and little to no food, still has the nerve to sass me. I lose my shit, the rogue tries talking. About 3 sentences of RP get exchanged, before the magical trigger sentence gets spoken. At that point we broke off, about an hour or 90 minutes into the evening.

We really didn’t do anything, we went somewhere, failed a chase, explored an empty building.

Really, only one line of game. Felt bad. Also, the way the game seemed to be set up to “trigger sentences” felt like one newbie game I once ran. I think the man has to learn that player ideas that don’t perfectly fit into a GM’s pre-game scenario aren’t supposed to be instantly thrown away.

Duh bluh. That’s that terrible story. A lame end to a lame story. In a way, an anticlimax was the perfect end for an anti-story.

I DM’d a bit. Shit yes. Part 2.

•08/04/2010 • Leave a Comment

I GM’d more of the S&W QS.

The bard didn’t show up, but another bro of mine was available, so ORGANISATION SUCCESS. Also, he took up the role of Jožko Arnold after rolling a char with 4 “-1” attributes.

I thought I’d put the treasure in the room only accessible after beating the frog lady. Players decided to “first explore the other half of the dungeon before venturing deeper in”. God, I love these people.
In continuation of the “Jožko opens doors and goes first” rule, players wanted him to be first to brave anything. I was cool with that, gave him xp for each door he went through first. The first two rooms were empty, which made me giggle. Then, ants.

There were two ants, a 2HD worker that got like, 11 hp and a 3HP fire warrior, with about 15, not to mention 1d6/1d4 poison. The dorf failed a saving throw, got knocked unconscious. Got instantly saved, didn’t object to drinking the potion they thought was healing, since, y’know. He was unconscious.
The players were pretty creative: The dorf is short, so one can throw things over him: relevant in tiny corridors. They cut off the ants antennae, and fiddled around with their legs. The killing blow was styled to be a flip on the back with spear to belly. Great stuff.
In this context, Shmio earned the prestige class “Entomologist”, for knowing his stuff. After the battle, he extracted the venom sack from the ant, players got poison for one attack. Interesting: I decided to give the weapons the same effect as the fire ant poison; ST 1d6/1d4. After one successful hit, it wears off. Shmio wanted to dip his darts in the poison. 10 darts, now with 1d3+1d4/1d6 damage. That’s a 2-7/2-9 range! On par with greataxes!

The players met the goblins in the big room, challenged the best goblin against the best adventurer, one-hit the bugger. Wordless and panic-stricken they let them pass. That was cool, also, the party’s champion was Hroghtar or whats-his-name and he roleplayed a bit.

One big empty room later, the party triggered a pit trap. Shmio failed saving throw, took 6 full damage, instant -1 hp. This was an interesting point in the game; I originally wanted orld-school lethality. But right now: Nothing but two utterly random rolls decided fate. It was gay. FattyPlayer was a douche about this.

SOCIAL PROTIP; LAUGHING AT PEOPLE FEELING BAD MAKES YOU A LONELY RETARD

I went on to tell players that it is an accepted thing that dead adventurer’s shares get sent to their families. No “lolmoreloot” bullshit. Also, in the end, after flipping two coins and some Dorven CPR, Shmio awoke with half his xp.  Losing the second flip would’ve meant losing 6 attribute points too, but I wasn’t really content with this either.

What I learned; dying is not fun. Particularly when it’s “lolfailedroll”. Yes, they should’ve been checking for traps, but that’s no excuse to kill off an adventurer. It’s interesting, I’m defending players in an old-school game. In summary; boring deaths are boring. If the PC bit the dust during something meaningful in a meaningful way, I’d not object.

After that, they took some wacky random mushrooms, gave them to goblins for testing. Two succeeded their checks, one fell over dead. UNISON SCREAMING, THROWING ARMS UP AND FLEEING!
At this point, I kinda decided what I wanted goblins to be; kinda nervous, sneaky gits, mostly a comedy relief, where death doesn’t matter that much. I’m really going for the 40k gretchin vibe here.

The players follow them later, find them with the other group of goblins. The shaman casts charm on Shmio. Awesometymes; Shmio roleplayed “he knew the fellow, uh, you know, from the walks of life… Say friend, what are you doing down here?” And the goblins were safe and questgivers. (I want this Shaman to be a recurring character, you don’t just give up on stuff like this.)

the goblins wanted to explore the dungeon, but there were scary statues in the next room. I had almost nothing prepared. They promise to help, go in. I now have to make up 6 statues/NPC’s and why the goblins are afraid of them. GM ADRENALINE SURGE.

The first one to talk was  a kind thief, being a gentleman, asking about how the adventurers are, hinting at great interest in the world above. They ask what’s up with the goblins, and my “old man” personality kicks in; meet the grumpy wizard. He died with his buddies 300 years ago, got impaled by goblins. HE MAD YO. Also, a lady paladin wanted to hear stories, and the players didn’t need more, since they already got the message; the statues wanted out.

3 days later; there’s 6 statues in the town square, under a gazebo roof. They pay handsomely for transport and facilitation. I think we stopped here.

None of the players had 1000+ xp yet. Kinda worried, but no-one complained, people said they had a good time. I’m happy with this so far! My group is having fun, I’m not screwing things up too badly and I’m kinda fascinated by oldschool DnD. I don’t think anyone can ever play “serious fantasy” again, after Drizzt and LotR have been done to death, their offspring has inbred to death, and now fantasy is in a genetic dead-end. By specifically trying to recreate 1970’s atmosphere, I avoid making this “serious” fantasy and keep the atmosphere light and fun.

I’m so content.

I DM’d a bit. Shit yes.

•26/03/2010 • Leave a Comment

Hell yes.

Hell.

Yes.

Say it out loud, with me. Yes.

I’ve had a lot of fun tonight. I DM’d the S&W quickstart, or at least 5 rooms of it; the thing was great. The players were in the spider room, survived flawlessly, then went straight for the frog lady. I toned the defenses down, only 1 skeleton, I wanted to have her create one per undisturbed turn, but the players broke through all defenses and threw a flask of oil for 11 damage. everything went insane fast and awesome.

The group was composed of the Bro, playing Osirius the bard, FattyDM who needs a new nickname, playing Thog Hammerstout, needless to say Dorf Fighta and from my OLD group, what gave me strength and courage, Kasiak, playing Shmio the thieeeef, and last but not least, The Lawyer starring as “Twothgar” the fighta.
Your humble narrator GM’d. Yesss.
Also, somehow, a hireling rolled better stats than most PC’s, got christened Arnold Jožko, got his 2gp/day and went on to brave the darkness with torch and sword. I hope he’ll get a good position in the future.

I loved the “guardian” room, 6 skeletons were just right to make the 4 players sweat, lose half their points and get creative with everything. The thief was in a deadlock with a skeleton for most of the battle, one skelly lost his head before rising, players were awesome. Ultra-kudos there.

Only thing that got on my butt; the Lawyer didn’t roleplay that much. Most stuff that happened happened during combat, but he was very analytic about things, others went in and did shit while he chose to conservatively stick to basic attacks. I would have preferred a more “balls-out” approach.
In fact, my second objection is one towards myself. At this point, players have 415, 275, 235 and 250 XP, and I wonder if that was right. I didn’t account for XP bonuses based on primary stats, opting to rather lower level limits, but I’m not sure whether I was dealing the stuff out in right proportions. I gave XP for every kill based on the challenge level chart in page 92 of the CR, plus stuff for good roleplaying and other things. (500 exp for the bard not yet counted, he drove me home after the game, Arnold got a pity 170. He cowers every second turn, but hey, he’s not being paid for this shit.) This way, the whole dungeon would probably kick everyone up to level 2, provided we play next time, but my oh my, these points are earned in blood. If this goes on, I’m not sure how to handle higher level parties, I’ll have to put dragons everywhere so they can get close to the next level.

I also seem to have forgotten giving the players the loot from the crazy frog lady. Bad stuff, I guess I’ll mail Kasiak to get it next time, there was a lot of gold there.

I liked the way even FattyDM played his dorf fairly well. His dice screwed him over 3 kinds of bad, but he certainly tried.

Man, I can’t wait for next week.

Sidenote; if you’re from my group, don’t read any of this. (If you do, don’t look for materials on the dungeon, I WILL SMITE YOU AND BURN YOUR CHARACTER SHEET)