Tributaries

Still no philosophies.  No reviews.  No how to.

Some ranging thoughts.

Gen Con feels shorter.  While the amount of been there, done that is strong, which makes everything run together, I think there’s another reason it feels shorter.  I don’t take any breaks.  I used to leave an open slot to get some sleep and/or hit the exhibit hall.  Now, I just don’t have the lack of things I want to do to leave any slot open.  Even having HoR slots likely slows things down some because there are fast mods and slow conversations to break up the “well, got to run to the next game”.

I’ve been reading quite a bit about True Dungeon.  That’s not necessarily helpful as so many people on the forums are the types who think nothing of debating which ultrarares/transmuteds/legendaries are the better way to go.  Of course, now that I’ve seen most of the 2016 set of commons/uncommons/rares with my own eyes, I can pretty much figure out what I care about of those.  Still, it’s always interesting – I so ignore shuffleboard that I miss a lot of important things about it.

After GC, I had a family reunion, ironically in a place where I have more family on the other side.  Gaming hits so many notes for me – there’s the story aspects of RPGs, the puzzle aspects of deckbuilding, the gambling aspects of trusting in the heart of the cards or the whimsy of the dice, the analysis in determining component or action efficiency, etc.  No one else in my family is what I’d call a gamer, and many have virtually no idea what I’m talking about, though, to be fair, I game with people who knew nothing about True Dungeon until I started explaining it.

Both of my parents were relevant to my interest in games.  My mother and I used to play rummy or hangman when waiting for food at restaurants.  My father had some interest in chess and poker, but, of course, that side of the family was mostly about mahjong in terms of consequential gaming.

As I think about my mother’s birthday present(s), I wouldn’t consider anything gaming related, even RPG books that are more thematic than mechanical.  Buying anyone gaming stuff is rare, as I try to avoid getting into present exchanges with friends.  Not unheard of, but there are just some ways in which not everything ties into gaming, which I suppose has some benefits.

Not sure why daimyo info for HoR4 was worth posting this early – I would much rather know what character I’m creating than caring about NPCs that likely have no impact on my play experience.  Still leaving the door open to bail out on playing a Loremaster.

Of all the RPG campaigns I could run, would Legend of the Burning Sands be the one I’m most interested in?  It keeps coming to mind.  I think I hit some rich veins, though it wasn’t like I ran it for very long.  I sort of see why fantasy can be appealing to run – you can do strange stuff and it fits the genre.  Solomon Kane was much more rooted, and I get distracted by the mundane when trying to create the adventurous.  Camelot suffered from veering too far into the out of genre with not having enough in genre.

In the realm of solitaire, Card Invaders is too hard and Stalactites too easy.  I’ve come up with yet another way to try to make Card Invaders not be like a 10% win rate game – instead of burning aces and deuces to draw cards, once per turn, after drawing a card, can put a card from hand on the bottom of the draw deck and draw a card.  Seems to add slightly to decision making.  With Stalactites, it’s just too much like playing FreeCell, where you know you will win, you just have to run through all of the possibilities until you find the winning plays.

Kickstarter rewards have been showing up.  I’m not enthused.  One game is way less interesting than I thought; another is something I just don’t know if I’ll play, at least not until I get some session in at a con.  I have so much stuff that it’s just overwhelming to figure out how to manage all of the cards, tokens, books, etc.  Meanwhile, I still have little interest in ebooks for RPGs – I tend to be terrible about learning mechanics without an actual book I can peruse.

In general, my enthusiasm is more for L5R and TD and not with card games or trying to do something new with RPGs.  As the Summer has been eventful and Fall may be less so, maybe I can get some of the house in order and feel more open to additional things, as I’m not gaming that often.

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6 Responses to Tributaries

  1. Mortthepirate says:

    Got to say I really enjoy your blog, especially the l5r stuff. Truth be told I’ve been looking and was a bit disappointed you never went on to analyze some of the latter released schools. I’ve been thinking about running a matsu beastmaster for the new season of hor, but I keep waffling on the idea. Especially considering the clarification I’ve gotten that I would have to command the lions each turn. What’s your view on the school?

    • iclee says:

      I thought about looking at Emerald Empire and Great Clans schools as other things to do as, really, my L5R posts are vastly more popular than anything else. I just need the time to do something that requires a bit more than making stuff up off the top of my head.

  2. SpiralStatic says:

    I don’t care for L5R but read you harping on it anyway. So, high praise?

    Would care for your take, even if just tangential, on the 5th ed. Nothing in-depth, mind, really just a penny for your thoughts, to know where you stand.

  3. SpiralStatic says:

    D&D, sorry. Wasn’t aware that there was a 5th ed for L5R.

    • iclee says:

      My experience with 5e is very limited. It seems like a much more 3eish style game, which I prefer to 4e. 4e, which I played for a while, just felt like a boardgame all of the time. 3e/3.5 became a bloated mess and was always rather crunchy, but I thought Conan d20 worked well, if somewhat overmechanized.

      The one thing I really liked about d20 was skills. For some reason, other people don’t. I realize they don’t quite work, with Diplomacy +50 or whatever being a problem, but skills intuitively make sense when doing something besides fighting all of the time. To belabor this, I find d20 skills far better than Hero System skill use, for instance (though I’d much rather play/run Fantasy Hero than D&D versions).

      5e has neither coherent skill use nor an appealing feat system, where feats were a good idea just terrible in execution. Feats should be cool. Weapon proficiency is dumb. +2/+2 is boring. Don’t take AOO when doing a maneuver, just too gamey.

      I have yet to see the background thing come in. My view is that you don’t need to mechanize narrative elements – just do narrative elements. It’s quite easy. In my convention one shot play of a bunch of systems I’ve never played as a campaign, I felt like there was a story that had nothing to do with character sheet abilities.

      Just tell a story. Occasionally roll initiative. And, get rid of the elves, dwarves, halflings, gnomes, orcs, and all of the other “What sort of fantasy is this? D&D fantasy.”

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