Sunday, June 2, 2013

Month In Gaming: May Report

So, I had been calling this monthly post "New Year, New Games," but that's not appropriate anymore, what with the "new" year being about halfway over. So, name change! I knew I was going to have to do it at some point, so, bullet bitten, let's move on.

Live Gaming Didn't Happen

So, I've been putting together details for my live ACKS game, the Iron Coast, which takes place on the world of Ore across the Dawning Sea from Ur-Hadad (which means to the east). Here's the blub I've written for the players:

Far away from the glory of Ur-Hadad, the First City, the Dominion of Man struggles to bring civilization and Law to the eastern shore of the Dawning Sea. No great empire of men unites the various peoples seeking to conquer this far shore, and a precarious balance between civilization's outposts here currently threatens to tilt into full-blown war as each competes against the others for dominance over the vast resources and ancient treasures of this forgotten place. Outside of Man's settlements, beast men, degenerate sub-humans, monstrous beasts and other threats claw greedily at civilization's borders. Here, man and monster alike wage war for the right to claim the throne of this land and declare himself Iron Prince.  

Our initial session was scheduled for the end of April, which got pushed back two weeks into May and then that got pushed back again due to work and then pushed back once more due to a death in my family. So, now the first session of this game is supposed to be today and everything seems to be ready to rock, other than the few details I have to clear up before game time. The team we've gathered for some old fashioned, Conan-style foe smiting is a good mix of old school players and newbies (with a few guys who've played a bit of this or that system who'll adapt to ACKS really well), and I'm confident that we'll have a blast. I'll pack up a cooler with some High Life and keep my flask of Jamison nearby in case of intra-party conflict. 

I should actually be working on stuff for this game right now. Blogging as procrastination!

Online Gaming Was Awesome

As you might have guessed when I wrote my post on Making It Happen, in the beginning of the month, gaming was somewhat erratic. Lots of sessions didn't happen. Well, some sessions didn't happen. Which makes sense when weather gets nice and people go outside... gaming just sort of falls off. In order to make sure that gaming always happens, I made myself a promise that, if one of my normal online gaming nights falls apart, I'll put something together (or make someone else put something together) to run that night instead. Test #1 for this manifesto was my last Edge of the Empire session when only two players showed up. We still gamed and actually had a blast in a largely ad-libbed session that resulted in a plot to overthrow the Hutt-backed evil land developers on Ryloth that made the plot of a David Lynch look straightforward. When the rest of the players join up this coming Monday, we'll see how well they can screw that plan up. 

The second test of the Make It Happen Manifesto was last Saturday, when I knew that my normIal S&W game wasn't going to happen. Instead, I ran a vaguely-FLAILSNAILS S&W session set in Ur-Hadad (well, really it was the Lucrewarren, but it's kind of part of Ur-Hadad). I used the "gab some books, read a chapter in each, write an adventure based on what I find there" method I've talked about before and, as a result, the story faced by +Jason Hobbs's assassin-turned-bounty hunter and +Gabriel Perez Gallardi's hyper-munchkin half-elf fighter/thief involved the Memory Market of the Lucrewarren (where people pay with coin, trade or labor for stories so vivid that they become the memories of those who hear them) and a purloined empathically-projective sex drug (a telephaphrodesiac, as I coined the term) that wreaked havoc in the gate town. In the end, the players tracked down the perpetrators of the crime to a group of guys bearing the sigil of the Bloody Successors, a group of revolutionaries/terrorists devoted to the reestablishment of the Paschate of Ur-Hadad and a bloody end to Grand Vizier's regency. It was a wild and fun session that will be repeated with more "up close and personal with Ur-Hadad" games that allow players the opportunity to really climb inside the First City and monkey around with the fun crap that I'm piling up inside the city's walls. 

Oh yeah, and the Metal Gods campaign continues to be awesome!

Closing Thoughts

I chose S&W Core/Complete for the rules for my FLAILSNAILS Ur-Hadad game, although I did consider using BX/LL. I found myself using certain details from BX to augment S&W (things like reaction rolls), which made me second guess my choice a little bit, but after the session, with its free-form combat scenes that were full of graphic and fun descriptions of beheadings, spine-severings and dismemberings, I knew I had made the right choice. For my tastes, S&W provides just enough structure to have a consistent, fair game without becoming overbearing and giving too much structure. I'm definitely planning on continuing to use S&W for my Ur-Hadad FLAILSNAILS games (so get that FLAILSNAILS character all ready for First City adventure by statting him out in S&W Core/Complete). While we're on that topic, if you'd like to be included in the Ur-Hadad FLAILSNAILSery drop me a line and let me know you'd want in, but be aware that, like many FLAILSNAILS games, there might be no consistent schedule for these games. 

All in all, May was a fun month despite its setbacks, but I'm really looking forward to all the crazy shit lined up in June!