Tags: dungeon world

The End is Nigher!

So, this weekend saw the end to my 5 session Dungeon World run and my 16 session Call of Cthulhu run. I am now pleasantly free of GMing duties except for my two one offs for Confusion in August, which are pretty much both done. I plan to kick back a little before deciding what's to do next.

2013's Half Time Match Report

So, the first half of 2013 has already flown past and the second half has arrived. What an amazing year its been to date!

The first half was dominated by Dungeon World, which seems to have finally answered my seemingly eternal quest for an RPG to my satisfy my frequently occurring, if not always long lasting, urge to play old school D&D. Not only is it easy to find players for, it is easy to pick up and run and it makes that old school vibe feel fresh. Thankfully, as I started the year free of specific plans, I was able to run 5 games with it so far, with the 5th coming to an end in the next 3 weeks. I will certainly be returning to it, possibly with something more ambitious, though probably not until sometime in 2014.

Running alongside this has been my run of Horror on the Orient Express for Call of Cthulhu. I have wanted to run this for a while, so its nice to tick it off the bucket list. Its been reliable fun for what will be almost 20 sessions, though it hasn't quite reached the heights of some of the other prewritten campaigns I have run in recent times. I can't see myself wanting to do Cthulhu again for sometime, though when I do it will either be to run either Beyond the Mountains of Madness or Nocturnum.

With Horror on the Orient Express coming to an end in about 3 weeks along with Dungeon World, my gaming calendar opens up just in time for Confusion. This works well as I plan to revert to Con style gaming for the second half of 2013 so as to free myself up for Sam's commitments to Kapcon organisation, The World That Is and the local ballet concert. I also have Adventure Squad to organise, though I have already made considerable progress with this. I think my shortlist of games for Adventure Squad will be Hero Kids (a new set of heroes was just released), Golden Sky Stories, Star Wars WEG and Mermaid Adventures.

Starting with Confusion, I plan to focus my next 12-18 months on Tenra Bansho Zero and Double Cross. Unless Exalted 3e surprises me, these two games should hold my attention. I can't recall feeling so good about any single RPG, let alone two at once. To ease myself into them both, I hope to run my Confusion scenarios again at Kapcon (which along with Dungeon World and Adventure Squad leaves me more than fully booked).

With any luck, this will lead me into 2014 where I can devote myself to writing something for one or the other, or both. For Tenra, my hope is that it will be my Glade con scenario. For Double Cross, I would be happy with running more one-off scenarios from the supplements, though I may also look at a short episodic campaign too.

Against the Cult of the Reptile God - Finished!

We finished Against the Cult of the Reptile God last night in a relatively rushed fashion. A combination of the sickness, the players being less active, and the adventure not being as engaging as I hoped made it a less satisfying experience than Treasure Hunt and Sentinel & Gauntlet (to date). But it still went reasonably well, and the players have expressed an interest in doing more Dungeon World.

The Dungeon World mechanics worked well for the younger players. But they still seem to remain somewhat distant from their PCs in the standard mystery/adventure setup. I am tempted to try some World of Darkness style gaming (or maybe Exalted) as I find that tends to break this barrier for the younger crowd. My issue is that that form of gaming tends to be incredibly taxing on the GM. So I still seem in a bit of dilemma when it comes to running for younger players in finding a game that works well for them, that I can also manage in my dotage. The search continues :)

Exalted 3e Kickstarter - Happy Days (Rise from the Dead)

For some reason this post no longer appears on my LJ despite being able to be searched via Google.

The Exalted 3e kickstarter went live 6 hours ago: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/200664283/deluxe-exalted-3rd-edition/. It is now on $180K and climbing. It looks set to be among the most funded tabletop KS to date. I am a happy Exalted fan :)

Between a Kickstarter for my favourite RPG, and all the other RPGing awesome going on at the moment, I think this year has been my best year for RPGs in a long time. It makes me almost dizzy thinking of it all. Tenra Bansho Zero (my other favourite RPG) is finally being shipped. I am getting mileage out of my AD&D material with Dungeon World, after a 15 year long quest. I may also finally get mileage out of nWoD thanks to the God Machine Chronicle, which I haven't even looked at in detail yet. Plus there is awesomeness like Golden Sky Stories, Warbirds, Shadows of Esteren and more.

Update: The KS is now at $437K with 17 days to go, which is the 2nd highest tabletop RPG KS to date.
Update: The KS is now at $500K.
Update: The KS is now the top tabletop RPG KS!

Exalted 3e Kickstarter - Happy Days

The Exalted 3e kickstarter went live 6 hours ago: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/200664283/deluxe-exalted-3rd-edition/. It is now on $180K and climbing. It looks set to be among the most funded tabletop KS to date. I am a happy Exalted fan :)

Between a Kickstarter for my favourite RPG, and all the other RPGing awesome going on at the moment, I think this year has been my best year for RPGs in a long time. It makes me almost dizzy thinking of it all. Tenra Bansho Zero (my other favourite RPG) is finally being shipped. I am getting mileage out of my AD&D material with Dungeon World, after a 15 year long quest. I may also finally get mileage out of nWoD thanks to the God Machine Chronicle, which I haven't even looked at in detail yet. Plus there is awesomeness like Golden Sky Stories, Warbirds, Shadows of Esteren and more.

Dungeon World - Sentinel and Gauntlet

I have just finished the final touches on my conversion for UK 2 and 3 - The Sentinel and The Gauntlet. As a double module, the conversion is a whooping 4 pages. This was also a little more rushed than I expected so it will continue to be polished including during the game itself, especially monster stats. I have been evolving the structure of these notes as I have gone along - adding new sections, organising content by location etc.

The conversion notes are: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14355510/Sentinel%20%26%20Gauntlet.pdf. If anyone is playing in the module, it is full of spoilers.

Sentinel and Gauntlet will be an interesting adventure. Unlike my previous two offerings, it is larger in scope and it travels about a bit. It should provide a good idea whether DW is suitable for longer AD&D offerings. I was initially concerned about the (admittedly awesome) set piece ending, but given the emergent scenario I don't think this will be an issue, even with "a play to find out what happens" approach. On the upside, the Fronts in this scenario are very clearly set up around a central dilemma, more so than the other conversion, and I think this should make for a relatively compelling experience.

Against the Cult of the Reptile God - Session One

I ran the first session of Against the Cult of the Reptile God with Dungeon World and without going into too much detail it was pretty awesome. All the players were engaged and on the whole I made good GMing calls, hopefully showing that I have learnt from my previous outings and have successfully changed my GMing style to suit the different set up.

Of particular note was that I also varied how hard my GM Moves were to create a more dynamic game with loads of tension without being overbearing. As a result, we had a number of intense character relevant scenes which spurred on a whole new plotline to the module. The Thief had an important artefact stolen from him (irony!), the Paladin vowed to defend Orlane is now its public enemy number 1, the Fighter is the perfect foil for Paladin (and vice versa) yet they are best friends, and the Druid has seen the fate that his own failing will cause.

Again, the session exhibited a translation of the existing module into something more dynamic and the PCs got into danger and out again on more than 1 occasion. I also ran my first detailed exploration and found that changing the scope of the GM Moves worked just fine.

I am quite looking forward Sentinel and Gauntlet this Friday now, given that the emergent crisis is more interesting to me than either of my previous offerings.

Dungeon World - Ease of Conversion

I am midway through my third AD&D module conversion and I am finding the process to be surprisingly easy and effective. I posted about the process in some detail here: http://grandexperiment.livejournal.com/230850.html.

If I wanted to summarise the process even more, it is really just three steps:

1. Read: I read the module to get an idea of what it looks like as written. I take almost no notes and spend my effort on identifying the 1-2 Fronts and 3-4 Dangers.

2. Read + Write: I read through the module taking notes of NPCs, Monsters, Treasures, Traps, Moves and other salient details. This is almost no effort.

3. Write: I take my notes and write them up, adding Stakes, Front Description, Danger Types, Grim Portents, and Impending Dooms. I also identify or create any mechanics. This is the most effort but its still very little as its all focussed and most of the detail I am working with is already there.

The ease of conversion, thanks mostly to the focus of the prep, is great. I just have to resist in plotting too much in advance and instead focus on asking questions and understanding the antagonism. I also think that the way that the scenario as written takes up step 1 and half of step two, and the scenario as presented by me takes up half of step 2 and step 3, clearly shows the transition from the original module into my own scenario.

Dungeon World - Against the Cult of the Reptile God

I have recently been working on converting Against the Cult of the Reptile God for Dungeon World. Its actually quite a large adventure, so it took longer than I thought. I ended up just going with my gut on a few rules calls, hoping to wing stuff as I need in play. The conversion is here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14355510/Reptile%20Cult.pdf.

Its creeped up to 2.5 pages as I decided to add a bunch of things to keep all my prep in one place including the opening scene, opening questions and rumours.

Perhaps the biggest change to the original adventure is the focus on Misha Devi. As a fallen priestess, I found her interesting and possibly having a different angle on the whole situation, potentially even seeing her redeemed. Though this may go against the idea of playing to find out what happens, I have clearly left actually what caused her desire for revenge to be determined by the players (see Hall of Statues Custom Move).

Anyway, this one sees play on Monday and Monday week, so I will report back when done. I am also racing through Sentinel and Gauntlet, which starts a week today! After those two, I plan to run Destiny of Kings with Dungeon World before taking a break and considering longer term possibilities.

General RPGing Update

Things are pretty hectic at the moment on the gaming front. It seems like everyone is releasing awesome RPGs via kickstarter or otherwise, from Princess Drive, Golden Sky Stories, Double Cross, Atlantis: Second Age, Warbirds and FFG's new Star Wars RPG. And that is even before you get to the RPGs that I have more immediate plans for and Exalted 3rd Edition.

First, Dungeon World. My first DW game - Treasure Hunt - was a lot of fun if a little squished for time and has cemented the game as my preference for AD&D conversions. My second of three DW games should start soon - Against the Cult of the Reptile God. However, it's the third one - Sentinel and Gauntlet - that has me most excited as it will be good to see DW in a longer game, with a little more room to build a fantasy tale. I have also decided to run at least one session of Dungeon World at Kapcon 2014, most likely Treasure Hunt unless something better comes along.

Second, Tenra Bansho Zero. I have still to run this, though the arrival of the books in about a month has me thinking seriously about doing so. I think I will be organising a 1-2 session test run with one of the demo scenarios in June or July, when Sentinel and Gauntlet has finished. I also have been toying with running AD&D's Assassin's Knot module with TBZ at Not D&D Con, given it is likely to be flooded with DW :) It should work pretty well, provide a poignant statement about D&D's murder hobo PCs and provide an easy entry into the heart of TBZ's awesomely fun system. I am still keen to write and run Glade with TBZ at Kapcon 2014, but will likely not start working on that until July or later.

Outside of that, my regular games - Exalted, Rogue Trader and Call of Cthulhu - continue. I want to run FFG's new Star Wars game with Kapiti College, but I am not wholly convinced its an RPG I want to follow. I also want test drive Exalted 3e, but that will likely take the backseat until later once the ideas have settled and more books released. I also expect to run Golden Sky Stories whenever a chance of relaxed fun RPGing presents itself.