Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Wardens ep08-13 : DC Heroes

The Wardens
Last Post

Mayfair Games' DC Heroes

I've decided to make this the last post in relation to this game, despite having a few more episodes worth that I could have summarized.  Simply put, the heroes faced off against a massive villain whose telepathic powers seemed to have taken control over the world, as well as other planets in different systems.

The truth however is later revealed that they were all merely locally mentally usurped and made to think the reach was far more widespread.  Starborn was imprisoned in a prison which was outside the planet, and one character's journey ended up giving the villain a chance to leap back and reach down with his psychic influence.

The stories later progress further, with the world's main bad guy attempting to lay claim to the alien presence that announces its arrival on Earth (in a bid to reconnect with a lost member of their clan) and the hints of the repercussions of what can only be described as the usual trope of Nazi experimentation on superhuman people.  There were revelations about the big heroes and big villains of the world as well, and the price of the growing popularity of the young hero group.

The game was to eventually explore the rise of Magic on the world as one of the characters take the burden of representing Magic in the world and the discovery that the absence of super heroes in the future was because the heroes in the present had to leave the planet and deal with a desperate villain whose roots are traced back to one of their own number.

The game was also going to explore the hijinks of non-human characters attempting to fit in with human kids, the price of a super villain heritage on a young hero, the idea that despite being born in different worlds we can all still be considered the same, and the tragic death of a non-playing character which the group's healer could only heal by willingly giving up his immortality.

It was a wonderful story arc composed of multiple story arcs which the players had created, and I was really hoping to see it come to light.   But that's that.  Real life steps in and things take a turn in different ways.  So yeah, this is the final post for this game session transcription.  The book is closed and despite all the recordings I have of the sessions, I've come to a point in accepting it is pointless to hold on to the past.

It is time to move on.  Time to delete this chapter from my computer and stop hoping things will still be repaired.  It is time to close the book and accept it as all done and over with.

It is for the best.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

#RPGaDay - Day25

A wonderful combination of things that make the person cool, and things that make the person not.  A good character has reasons to be awesome and reasons others will hate him.  Too often, people think the best kind of character is one who always has drama, or one who has the best stats, or one who always is absolutely "true to their personal choices" but I've learned through my over two decades of gaming that those three examples tend to be only perfect for the player playing it.  A really good character goes beyond just being a character.  A really good character breaks into the meta level, because the character is somehow connected to the other player characters, giving them a reason to interact.  Time is not wasted playing the tug-of-war game of getting to know you or deciding whether or not to trust one another.  The other players are not forced to wait out that sort of scene to pass before they can finally interact with each other.

Good characters take actions that others can see the logic behind them.  They don't exist just to mess up everyone one else's stories, and even characters created exactly to do that are able to toe the line between being forces of chaos, and being asshole player characters.

A really good character remains true to his or her personality, but is shifted slightly when the character concept might be detrimental to other players in the vicinity.  For example, one might choose to play an overly-sexual androgynous bounty hunter - and that, personally, is an awesome concept in my opinion - but if in a scene the character starts harassing another (whether player character or npc) and another player raises an alarm about it no longer being fun or possibly treading on unwelcome ground in the game, then that character should be able to be reined in without sacrificing its concept.  Maybe the scene is just "we fade to black" as it no longer needs to be given a spotlight.  Or maybe that character is just assumed to do things "off camera" so to speak, and the game focuses more on its other traits.

Those make a good character, in my opinion.

What makes a great character?
One that does all that, and is not afraid to suffer, go through hell and high water, because despite all the unexpected and unplanned things that may happen, the character doesn't just give up.  He or she fights to get back on top and save the day... or at least... tell the story.

Great characters give everyone a fun time watching how they interact in the unfolding narrative.


#RPGaDay - Day24

At the risk of sounding like I'm setting myself up on a pedestal, I've admittedly been very willing to share copies of my game, A Single Moment, to those here in the country who find the dollar price a tad too steep.   Having a credit card to purchase stuff online isn't as common here in Manila as it is for most gamers abroad, so I've been very willing to help those who can't afford it grab a copy to try playing it. 

Here's hoping they all liked it!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

#RPGaDay - Day23

This story would have to be rewarded to Rommel, my gaming buddy from waaaaay back.  We used to joke about how in all role-playing games with jets, he would always find himself failing the piloting checks to stay airborne.  It went as far as us going through this insane story.

We were playing Robotech one time, using the Palladium rules.  Rommel was a Vertich pilot, which fans of the show would understand to be pilots of the transformable jet planes that can transform into a hybrid plane-robot mode called Guardian (Gerwalk) and a robot form (Battloid).

So in a single game session, Rommel's character crashed his test flight jet, then failed to successfully launch another fighter as the Zentraedi began to attack, and finally, crashed again in the end of the session after he defeated the villain and tried to land at the base.

I don't think anyone can share having crashed three times in a single game, and yet survive to beat the bad guy.  Rommel, I miss gaming with you.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

#RPGaDay - Day22

There were a number of such in the past with a certain group, but then we realized a lot of it was grounded on a very unhealthy source, so we've thankfully moved on from having that keep happening.   Focusing then on the more positive stories, and more hilarious threads.

At work, when I run my games there, there usually is a narrative thread that moves towards a romantic angle. Despite the group being more focused on the action and comedy.  And frankly, I don't mind.

With my close gaming group of Che, Rocky, and Urim, our games usually have a great comedy/drama angle.  But we eventually always end up having NPCs we love so much that they become main cast characters.

Finally, with one shot games that I run, there almost always is a player who will eventually want to try a role that they've never played before.  And I am usually happy to let them go for it as I make my one shot games opportunities to explore different games.

Thankfully, that has lead to at least five players within the last year so far who have moved forward to the point of RUNNING their own games with the said system with their own friends.  And that makes me smile.


#RPGaDay - Day21

It would be tempting to talk about a certain space, but naw, let's focus on something instead.  I could probably cite our misinterpretation of the rules from waaaay back when I was young.  We thought that Armor Class was a number you had to roll when you rolled below your Dexterity with a d20.  And that to score double damage or a critical, you roll below the listed AC number.  Yep, we used to think rolling a natural twenty was a BAD thing.

#RPGaDay - Day20

Shared Narrative Control.
This for me was the beginning of seeing the role of both the Game Master and the Player is one single role. Both as just as responsible for the fun of the game, the sense of safety and happiness each person feels in the session, the sensibility of the story and the joy of the overall experience. It isn't about a GM having to cater to every need, demand or desire a player may have without any say in the matter, nor is it about players not having any say on whether or not they want the game to explore a certain narrative angle and the like.
Ever since I first encountered the idea of GMless games and the like, I realized a large part of the idea of GMless games was giving everyone a chance to contribute to the narrative, and a shared responsibility in keeping the game fun.  Many who have an incomplete understanding of it tend to focus too much on a GM-Player relationship where one owes the other something, or insists that one must respond to the wishes of the other regardless of their personal comforts.

I'm thankful how I've learned to better grasp the true joys of Shared Narrative Control, and how it's practice leads to groups learning to be far more trusting and honest with each other. I don't think I'll ever want to play the way I used to ever again.

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