Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Now—Where Did I Put That Mine?

Saturday's game went well, I think.

I've been running this game a little more open than the last one I ran. Apparently only one of the story hooks that I've thrown out managed to latch onto the minds of the players. Now, If I could only figure out why that latched on and the others did not, so I could throw some of the others out again in the manner of the one they decided to bite, then I'd really be in business. (Did you manage to follow that thought?) [I really want to say something here, but that would spoil things for my players.]

I managed to actually remember to hand out Fate Chips for once—but there wasn't really much of a chance to use them in game. P ended up asking for a retcon at the end of the session, which I allowed—so he did use a fate chip to fix a bad roll that kept him out of a vision quest.

My wife is really into her character, she speaks in-character a lot. I however am not speaking in character for most of the NPCs at the moment which caused her a little confusion. I need to work on some of my descriptive skills.

Two of the characters are very mistrusting of each other at the moment, which completely fits their characters, and the situation I've placed them in, and the back story intertwining that I asked everyone to create. I just hope it doesn't tear the party apart.

I missed an opportunity Saturday, and it just occurred to me, unfortunately I can't say what it was. I'll just point out that what happened when the Posse slipped into town after dark should have been interrupted by something that would probably have distracted them from the task at hand.

They spent a good portion of the game trying to track down the Cooked Earth Mine. I changed the story a little from what it is in the book. This posse is good. That's all I'm going to say. That and I think my Indian Shaman came off a little crazier than I intended. That's okay, Yoda acted pretty crazy when Luke first showed up in Dagobah.

My last comment will be this—this game is headed precisely where it was intended to go, but this Posse paid for Express tickets. I guess I need to start reading through the Flood a Lot faster.

Oops, I guess I had another comment in me. When I first started reading The Flood, I didn't think that it was going to fit the concept I had in mind for the party—but I just read a little snippet that leads me to believe that it's actually going to fit like a glove. Time to bust out the old speed reading skills...or just take a break from Barsoom.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Drunken Gnomes—Russian Sub

A Few Months ago I picked up Rзd Novзmbзr.

In this game you play a crew member of a sinking Russian submarine (The Red November). A Submarine Crewed by Gnomes. Gnomes that are getting Drunk.

Turn order is determined with a time track. You have to keep the Submarine from getting destroyed in a "60 minute" time period, each action takes a certain amount of time—and as time passes, bad things happen.

There is a fairly new phenomenon in the world of board games called the Cooperative Game. There may have been cooperative games in the past, but we are literally in the middle of a Cooperative Game Renaissance. I think that what a lot of people like about cooperative games is the lack of competition, it's you and your friends against the game.

We were doing pretty good, for a first time play through. Most cooperative games are pretty brutal (they have to be a challenge or else they would get boring pretty fast) and this was seeming to be tough, but not impossible, and then everything hit the figurative fan and we lost with a mere ten minutes left to go. Half the Sub was on fire and the other half was flooded.

The rulebook even had variations to make the game more challenging. Crazy!! (To be fair it also had a variation that would seem to make it easier, called Less Deadly Death)

We've only had a chance to play it once, but I'm itching to play again. I would recommend this game to anyone.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cinderella: Space Ranger

So my daughter wanted to stay up late and read a book the other night, but it was already far past her bedtime, so I told her we could play a dice game tomorrow.

The Dice Game indicates that we play a little improvised role playing game using her jumbo, over sized, plush dice.

The Game generally starts with the traditional, "once upon a time..."

Usually we end up sending a princess on some mad cap adventure—okay, this time was no different. She wanted the story to be about Cinderella. She was wearing Buzz Lightyear pajamas. Let the Mash-up begin!

Granted, I didn't take it as far as I could have. I didn't make her step-relatives show up to aid Emperor Zurg. The story ended up pretty good, due mostly to the both of us rolling badly.

I use a very simple system derived from Savage Worlds—(are you surprised?)

• She picks a single Die (She started with the d12, but I had her switch when I realized it was giving us d2 results [plush dice aren't exactly precision random number generators])
• Every character has every attribute and skill represented by that die, the target number for success is four.
• Dice explode (re-roll and add the result if the highest number on the die is rolled)
• I take raises into account when narrating the story (Raises being every result that is +4 over the target number of 4 [i.e. 8 is one raise 12 is two etc.]). Raises make the results even better.

She doesn't know all this, she knows that anything over four is a success and she loves it!

Cinderella and Buzz Lightyear of Space Command went to face the Evil Emperor Zurg. They fired on his ship and missed, he fired back and missed, they fired again and missed, he fired back and got them. They crashed into a cargo bay and then deployed the wings on their Space Suits and flew out to face Zurg. There was a fist fight, Cinderella had the upper hand and was about to put hand cuffs on him when Zurg managed to land a desperate punch which knocked her out. Then Buzz Stepped in and kept Zurg occupied while Cinderella tried to regain consciousness, once she was up again they tag teamed him and managed to get him into hand cuffs and then took him to the space dungeon.

Good times!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Crystal Caste—A Dice Company With Class

My Dice "Problem" Is Well Established.

I purchased a new set recently. I just couldn't say no to their Lime-Green siren call.
However, my set of seven was slightly flawed. I had two d10's with numbers indicating the tens place.

So I dropped them an e-mail letting them know—I wasn't even looking for a replacement, I can use a tens place d10 just as easily as the ones place variety. I just thought that if there was some sort of production problem on their assembly line, I would let them know.

They responded by sending not only a replacement, but some extra, pipped, d6's to boot.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I Just Found A Way To Take My Dice Obsession To A Whole New Level

I've been searching for a way to design some customized dice for myself for quite some time now. I found a way to do it today. The Site is called Shapeways and they bring Fast Prototyping to the masses, they have a variety of materials available and only charge a one time setup fee (for new models only), materials (per cubic centimeter), and shipping. The only downside I can see is that they are located in the Netherlands, meaning possible Import Duties or Taxes involved.

I'm definitely going to be designing some specialized dice. Most likely d18, d22, d26, and d28.

There are already some dice on the Site—Check it out!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Disneyland: The Magic is Back

A few years ago I went to Disneyland and I was saddened by the state of things. This was back when Michael Eisner was still head honcho, and he had started cutting corners in the park and it showed.

One of Walt's visions when creating Disneyland was the exact opposite of all the other amusement parks he had attended with his children. They were usually run down, sad places. He hated the midway and he hated the general lack of cleanliness.

Eisner built the California Adventure and put in a Midway, he also cut the budget for Upkeep and Cleaning of the park. I saw amounts of trash that I never would have seen before, I saw places where the construction of the attractions needed repair, I saw animatronics that were in need of cleaning and repair, I saw attractions that were not in use, that were not kept clean and an eye sore.

Eisner was run out of the company on a rail due to his poor treatment of the Disney Legacy, and Roy (Walt's Nephew that wanted the former glory of the company to return) came back as a member of the Board.

Roy left the world a few months ago, but the Legacy of the Disney Company and the Quality that the Disney Name should always stand for has returned to the park. The Crass commercialism that Eisner's cronies introduced was gone and the Fun was back.

Friday, I found that there was no longer trash around the park. The Chicken Wire foundation of the Matterhorn was no longer showing through making it look like a mountain (instead of a paper-maché approximation), all the animatronics in Splash Mountain were working and clean, Mr. Lincoln shared the great words he used to inspire all people—regardless of nationality, attractions not in use were hidden from sight or in good repair and pleasing to the eye.

No longer were all the stores the same vanilla Disney Store meets the Gap flavor, and there was once more that feeling that the stores in Adventure Land were different from those found in Tomorrow Land.

I think Walt would be happy with the way the park is being run now.