There’s also some catch up that I can use to pad this out, as everyone knows how pithy my posts are.
Last time we got together for Shadowfist before the con, we played one game, played Sentinels of the Multiverse, and Love Letter. Week before that played a couple three player games, which were bad, a four, which was fine, and Love Letter.
It’s really weird to go from five player games to three player games. Five player is so much more like V:TES, where you don’t have to do as much, also not responsible for as much. Meanwhile, older Shadowfist players are much more into a game where you do have more control and where a bad game ends fast.
I also played yet another zombie boardgame with my friend Cedric recently, the second time in a row we played a cooperative zombie boardgame he owned. This one was more horror focused than zombie focused, and we lost. Played Heroes Wanted again.
Played a HoR mod today instead of going to the con. Liked what the mod was trying to do a lot. I’m not sure how you lose at the mod except with a horrible, horrible fate. I had some general RPG thoughts but can’t think of them at the moment.
COO let us go after a company lunch for those with May birthdays. Most of the people returned to the office. I was the last office person left. Went home and didn’t build V:TES decks.
Go to Little Lucca’s in Burlingame on the way to the con, was very unimpressed with my giant pastrami sandwich. Do not like seeing a bunch of fat on my pastrami. Would go back and order salami, if I was in the mood for a sandwich to see what I thought of that. Their house sauces didn’t do much for me. Not the place from my youth that was tucked behind a warehouse on Rollins Road that a lot of police would go to as they knew it was back there – not sure how other people knew, except local workers. That place was fantastic, with a lethal garlic spread.
Shadowfist at noon. Get to con 10:30ish. Play a pickup game. I play my latest attempt to not be bored with Ascended and achieve little in a fourway. Raven Li did come down with Fortune of the Turtle, so I did actually play stuff, though I don’t think I was remotely close to winning at any point.
Classic. Had seven players after an oldtimer and his friend showed up. My deck was my previously undefeated unaligned magic deck with Monarchs support. I could have made a bid for victory in game two but hysterically discarded a foundation character that I could have put the Boundless Heaven Sword on. After a strong start, game stabilized and Purist site deck won that game. My first game was dull for me as Napalm Belcher burned down my characters and sites making it easy for someone else to win. Game three saw Architect come out strong in a three player and our efforts to stabilize not achieve.
Played a pickup game afterwards where I played my unique Dragons deck with Kunlun Clan Assaults. The only game the whole weekend in which I did well, by which I mean that Wu Bin of Turtle Island got me the win because he was Liquored Up.
Food. Favorite Chinese place in the world. Usual Xiaolongbao, Tan Tan Mian, and Tang Bu Shuai (I don’t know what they call it, but this is what it is). Stop at the market nearby, something I want to get on Sunday, as it’s not for the con, but I don’t end up going back.
V:TES. Looks like we will have seven, end up with eight. Played for table prizes and overall event winner, as there is little point to running a structured tournament with unpredictable numbers (people come and go, nevermind less than ten players). Kenneth sweeps a game. The “finals” sees Geoff win with a Well-Aimed Car deck!?! I didn’t think to ask anybody how he could win that game. I gave everyone a Gehenna booster for my “Blood Trade” event and had random boosters as prizes for the tables. Legacies of Blood booster never came up. I played one of the games with my !Nos with Protean deck, torped a few dudes and died. Just not very engaged with V:TES this con, as we didn’t have a pickup game.
Got home 11:45PMish. Did buy some Shadowfist cards and looked at a 10,000 Bullets starter. Guy sold me all of the preconstructed starters except the Purists one. Would have liked the Purists one, as it has cards only ever printed in it. Still, got some useful cards and some goofy cards from the starters. Got a box of Empire of Evil, box of Netherworld 2, box of 7 Masters, and some miscellaneous original set stuff, none of which I particularly need, though 7 Masters is something I could use as I can always use more Kunlun Clan Assaults and don’t have a lot of copies of the 7 Masters uniques.
Had the other half of my Little Lucca’s sandwich from Saturday – they being vast, potentially sizable. So, I didn’t do anything interesting for food. Got to con at 9:30AM. Found out I was in the 11AM Feng Shui game. Should have done dealer’s room, which I never did as I’m looking for potential gifts for people (admittedly, nongamers).
Feng Shui Second Edition. There were actually four slots of FS at Kubla, at least two were 2e. Eight players. We were professional criminals doing a heist of a thing off an armored train traveling from Beijing to Moscow. I picked the gambler, as I love me dice manipulation effects.
We immediately started fighting security. Wasn’t much of a threat as the killer mowed down mooks with Carnival of Carnage, and we outnumbered the named characters. I was the chef/sommelier on the train, so I poisoned security and tied them up with some spilled Chateau Lafite Rothschild swill, keeping the Perrier-Jouet safe. Yes, I’m totally not a beatdown personality player.
Sorcerer shows up, with another sorcerer, humanoid fu dog demon, and mist demons. Takes our prize. We blackout and end up in the Netherworld – yes, an actual Secret War FS game. We interrogate second sorcerer, pop out of cave into 690 AD, shoot a freaky dude because FS2 has magic stuff be prolific in ancient juncture. We find the local magistrate, who is an officious dragon. We are blunt in our mission. We talk to an informant. Get to manor house of Black Tiger. We fight. Black Tiger refuses to randomly 50% go down for a ridiculous number of rolls. We prevail. My Arabian gambler has his visa to time travel, and we end up back at home, giving our time traveling gatekey to our employer.
It was a typical big FS game. Combat was mostly the thing. Some decision making but not much outside of combat. I wouldn’t have expected a lot else. Makes me want to play a FS campaign, though.
Though, the system doesn’t enthrall me. I was hoping for more significant structural changes to the game, which I wasn’t seeing in skimming the PDF and don’t see after playing. AV is not as much of a problem but is still a problem. Shot chart still doesn’t enthrall me, though there looks to be less manipulation of it, so maybe it’s less annoying. Hitting and hurting still doesn’t seem right, but that could be due to finding the right spot for challenges.
But, what bothers me the most about 2e, that actually makes me kind of more interested in playing 1e, is it feels like the flavor in the game has been somewhat sucked out with the mechanical streamlining. Schticks seem less cool, and you don’t have the weird Fu Schtick trees that were actually cool. I guess you could homebrew to reinstate stuff. Creatures and Magic may not be as distinct. I think a lot of characters end up with the same schticks, where 1e it was functionally similar schticks with different names.
I’m certainly willing to play 2e, as it’s better than playing a lot of other stuff (5e D&D, for instance, though I’d try some 5e just to see if it gave me anything like what I actually want from a FRPG).
Experience still seems a problem. GM was saying that his group ended up way too powerful too fast as advancement was random. 1e had the problem that you attune two sites and you advance way too fast, though I think a big problem with advancement in various RPGs is that you aren’t incentivized to buy fun stuff, just powerful stuff. My old, gambler character was spending half his XP on useful stuff and half on cool things.
Had time to run out for yet another pastrami sandwich, Lucky’s this time. Actually, while this one wasn’t all that, I’ve generally really enjoyed the Millbrae Lucky’s sandwiches, enjoyed this one more than the Lucca’s monstrosity (use better pastrami, people).
Shadowfist Modern. Had six people for this event. I played a Lotus deck, of course. Yes, Lotus are way too powerful in Modern for me, but they also happen to be way too interesting compared to the other factions. I played zero Tortured Memories, Evil Twins, Death of a 1,000 Cuts, Spiritwracks, Abysmal Wyrms, etc. I did play Auramancers! So, the entire weekend, only one of my Auramancers ever grew!! Where the hell is all of the recursion that I get tired of (mostly from the Lotus, Dragon recursion doesn’t bother me that much)? Maybe it’s not as broken as I think. I don’t see it discouraging recursion, only making someone much more powerful because of recursion at the cost of the other players, but maybe recursion and other remove from smoked pile effects aren’t as common as I expect.
I sucked some more. Brain Fire wrecked me in one game, stopping my taking out a hitter with both Poisoned Wound and Underworld Coronation. I just don’t think I have a good feel for competitive Shadowfist play. I’m too much in the casual gamer mode, who likes games more V:TES like.
Pickup fourway game with my latest Daughters of Nu Gua deck. This game lasted seemingly forever, though it was probably less than 2.5 hours. As I was a ride home for Andy and Eric, they had to wait as Dragon Tactics kept failing to win until it finally won.
Got home after 1AM. That was it for the con. Never looked at the prize pool for the con. Never entered the dealer’s area. Played lots of CCG, one RPG, no boardgames. Because of Monday’s HoR mod, that’s sort of like a second RPG, I guess.
I have things to do in the upcoming couple of weeks that’s going to make it hard for me to both game and to drop gaming knowledge on folks. If anyone has a preference for a topic, let me know.