I have this sense that something in the last week should be remembered better, so I’m just reviewing the last week’s worth of gaming.
Last Saturday played Winter Court: Kyuden Hida, SoB08 of HoR3. It went quite a while. Even if we would have played faster, the mod seemed to have more depth than most of the HoR3 mods. As with every Winter Court mod I’ve seen for HoR, I believe there are too many characters and, especially, too many characters that don’t matter. I realize that a living campaign needs to have diversity to cater to a large group of players, but it’s really hard on the GM whether the NPCs have interesting stories or not. I think I’m getting more and more feel for my main character, who has played about half as much as my alt. I rebuilt the character specifically for the mod since the character didn’t need to be finalized until after the mod, when I had played it three times. I did a really good job of predicting what was important, I just couldn’t pull the trigger on taking an obscure skill that would have been useful, which would have been amusing even if the die rolls would have suggested that it wouldn’t have mattered.
Sunday, we expected four for V:TES. I don’t really need to explain events, as Brandon http://brandonsantacruz.blogspot.com/2011/05/update-and-game-re-cap.html has already done so. I do need to do something about breaking down some of my lamer decks. The 3e-only deck is fine if I didn’t also make it a 4cl deck. The Stray Bullets deck is just not something for me to give other people until I identify whether it’s viable or not. Games like Wings of War are always funny with me since I’m so bad spatially that I don’t really know where plotted movement takes me. The Greatest Fall deck had an interesting crypt, since only my favorite vampire mechanically in the game was the one I least wanted to bring out from my uncontrolled region, but the library was fairly dull. I should probably make some changes on my Jyhad-only 4cl Toreador tap vote deck, but I guess it’s matchup dependent no matter what, where I badly want my prey to have titled vampires.
It was late enough in the day that I didn’t feel up to posting many of these comments on May Day.
Not knowing whether one of the regulars was playing my HoR2 campaign Tuesday, I prepared to run one mod and had another printed as a backup plan. Went with the backup plan, which nobody seemed happy about. It’s an uninspired mod that was okay for me when I played it resultswise but not all that interesting. That lack of inspiration coupled with how I think my group is just really bad at investigation made it drag and nothing all that interesting happened except an ending that I’m sure is fairly rare.
Only Andy out of my players will probably read this – I don’t understand why following up on leads and asking the right questions is such a challenge. I’m perfectly fine avoiding investigative mods/situations (to the extent it’s possible in a campaign where investigation is the primary activity) if the party isn’t interested, but the party is so close so often on doing what it’s expected to do (and probably wants to do) and then goes and does something else that doesn’t end up being terribly productive … and never comes back to a far more productive line.
Thursday, I blew off class to do boardgames with the old South Bay group. First up was Scepter of Zavandor, a variation on Outpost. I like the game. It has some of the problems that Outpost, which I hate playing because it’s so limited and unforgiving, has. It probably lacks the variety that I perceive it has for me at this stage. So, it’s not great by any stretch of the imagination. But, there are enough roles that I haven’t played a lot of different strategies (subtle as the differences may be), so my fascination with strategic variety is stimulated. Well, whatever. It’s good to not be bored with a game. Speaking of bored with a game, we played Settlers because it was easy. It was a blowout, as many of our Settlers games are, as I couldn’t care less what actually happens in Settlers games anymore. I spent the entire game working on largest army and never got to three soldiers – that’s not a comment on the quality of the game or my competitive effort – it’s just a note that relates to how I find the game completely unsatisfying, whether competitively or not.
Yesterday, I finally made an appearance with Jeff’s RPG group. We played All Flesh Must Be Eaten. It went well, especially from a narrative standpoint. My rancher character got to use First Aid a lot when the vet kept getting the crap beaten out of him by zombies, .50 caliber machine gun fire, and whatnot. I never took any damage. After all, the driver is probably never going to get hit by machine gun fire going through the engine block, right? On the flip side, I could never find a gun, so the only damage I did was a two-fisted blow to the back of a head of a zombie … for 1 point of damage. Go Strength of 1. Go Strength of 1! The two jocks kept leaving us behind, since their Ferrari and motorcycle lacked the problems our stolen vehicles had. The trucker never ended up driving a truck, but he did get to shoot some zombies … Perhaps we could organize our resources better – M-16 to the rancher who has Guns: Rifles and a low Strength, truck to the trucker, vet tends others rather than getting tended to, etc.
Next week, with the group, is likely to be RuneQuest, where I get to hack and slash. Been a while.
So, the takeaways from all this are what? HoR is HoR – it isn’t likely to be perfectly suited to a particular group of players. I’m still working on how to better suit my players. I think the Shadowlands mods, the more I reread them, are more what the campaign should be like as they are less likely to drag. I need to be building more interesting (to play) decks for V:TES and not lend out decks that only “work” when I play them. Maybe I need to find another boardgame to be a staple of play so that I don’t get stuck playing ones I really have no desire to ever play again. Unfortunately, most of the few I own fall into the category of not being ones I actually want to play.
Finally, the RPG book I ordered on April 13th has finally shipped. Not that I’m doing a good job of delving into material I buy, but I really should do more to support the industry, so putting in an occasional order for something, even if it takes a month to ship, makes sense.