CAMPAIGN NEWS & DM MUSINGS

07/03/11 – Campaigns I’d like to do: Been thinking about the different campaigns I’ve done in the past and that I’d like to do in the future. I know that I’ll never get around to doing them all, but maybe I’ll get to some of them. I’d like to do an Eberron campaign. I just like that world, with it’s magi-tech and warforged. I’d like to do a Dark Sun campaign, just because it is a gritty, no holds barred world. I wanna try Gamma World, though that is probably more of a few one-shot games than a full blown campaign. An urban fantasy campaign has been something I’ve wanted to try since I got into the genre reading the Dresden Files series, but there’s not been a good system to support it, so I’m waiting until one is developed or I get enough free time to modify a system to suit my needs. Not sure if I’d want to do the actual Dresden Files RPG, as I’m not a fan of the rpg engine it uses. I wouldn’t mind doing a Warhammer 40K campaign, possibly even in all three of the systems that have been released for it (Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, and I forget the last one). I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at running a Cthulhu game, though I’m not sure I could go as far as doing a whole campaign. A superhero game would be interesting to run, though, again, not sure I could do a whole campaign. I’d love to develop my version of a Star Wars campaign, the way I envisioned it (totally re-writing the events of Episodes 1-3) and setting it in the timeframe between Episode 3 and 4. There you go, so many campaigns, so little time.

06/22/11 – Life and stuff: So I have taken my mom to Florida on an unbelievably long road trip. My older sister went with me and we reminisced about our childhood and how screwy it was. There wasn’t any serious abuse or anything, but it was an emotional desert and lots of disfunction. I discovered that my interest in comic books, fantasy and sci-fi stuff probably arose from this environment as an escape from the reality of life in that fucked-up cuban house. So, despite the fact the me and my siblings can blame our folks for many of our disfunctions, I actually have my parents to thank for my love of these escapist genres. Without their weirdness, I probably wouldn’t be playing or DMing today. Thanks mom and dad!

06/05/11 – X-Men: First Class Okay, so I saw X-Men First Class this weekend, and though it was a good movie, it really bothers me when Hollywood can’t respect continuity, even within its own franchises. I’ve accepted that movies will never follow comic book continuity, but they could follow their own continuity. After all, there’s only 3 X-Men and 1 Wolverine movie – that’s not a lot of history to keep straight. But First Class screws with all of them. Prof X was walking at the end of Wolverine, but was crippled at the end of First Class which happens before Wolverine. In X-Men, Prof X says that he and Magneto built Cerebro, but First Class gives that honor to Hank McCoy (Beast). Beast is a scientist but he chucks all his know-how for a career in politics in X-Men 3? Mystique is Xavier’s best friend in First Class but doesn’t seem to give a shit about him in any of the X-Men movies? Plus, I have to say, I was rooting for Magneto at the end.

5/17/11 – Character Summary: I added a page to the Wiki tab that summarizes the characters, class, race and role at a glance.

5/15/11 – Character Creation Update: I’ve expanded the Character Creation options to include the Heroes of Shadow Player’s Option book in addition to the two Essentials books. Just in case we have a character death.

5/14/11 – Insight from the Player’s Side: I’ve been DMing for most of my D&D life, so when I got a chance to play a character in Jason’s campaign, I jumped at it. I don’t mind being a full time DM, in fact I prefer it, but sometimes you just want to show up and play and that’s a luxury DMs don’t get. We have to prep for each game, which usually takes a lot of hours. So having played my tiefling warlock a few times now, I’m getting a new perspective on the game from the player’s POV that I hope will help me be a better DM. Just a few examples: Missing on an attack roll is pretty disappointing for players because you have to wait a full round to get another chance and even worse if it was a daily you wasted (especilly those characters that don’t get 1/2 damage or have Reliable dailys). Other players that take a long time to resolve their turns, for whatever reasons, can cause my attention to drift. Not paying attention to what is in an encounter or why the group is doing something lessens the interest in the encounter. Not being able to contribute much to an encounter because your character’s attacks are ineffective (range/melee vs swarms, opponents that can negate ranged attacks, etc.). Using the same powers over and over again can get a bit boring. Not paying close attention to what is happening in between my turns makes me less effective when my turn comes around because I didn’t take the opportunity to plan out my next move. It’s little disppointing when the bad guy(s) die before I have a chance to contribute to the fight. That’s just a few things I’ve noticed after only having played a handful of games. I’m sure regular players can add to the list, but my point isn’t to bitch about the game, it’s to learn to be a better DM. Having this new persective on the game, I feel like I’ll be better able to design encounters that avoid causing some of those issues. Of course, some of those things are just inherent to the game, but I do think that I will be more mindful to some of those pitfalls in designing encounters going forward. I would encourage folks to take a turn on the DM side of the table to get a glimpse of the other side.

3 Years into 4E: So, 4E was released in June of 2008. Since then, I started the Peacekeeper campaign, the Fallcrest Defenders campaign, the Apocalypse from the Sky campaign and the current one, Obsidian Spire. I have yet to run the game in anything other than the Heroic Tier. There are many reasons for that, but the bottom line is, Paragon and Epic Tiers continue to elude me. I toyed with the thought of starting the Obsidian Spire campaign in the Paragon Tier, but I just have a difficult time starting a campaign at somthing other than 1st level. Something deep down makes me think that we’re cheating if we start at anything other than 1st level. So I’m pretty determined to see this campaign reach Paragon Tier at the very least and I really want to get all the way through Epic. I’m trying to figure out a way to have more frequent games, but life if really screwing with my free time right now. Still, as long as we have at least a monthly game,then I hope to be at Paragon Tier before the end of the year. Looking forward to many games to come!

CAMPAIGN NEWS & DM MUSINGS

The Obsidian Spire nrobaina