Tags: hellas

Kapiti College Ponderings for 2013

So, another year down for Kapiti College meetings. This year has been a good one with the most consistent fun all year than any previous year, though no game quite reached the height of Exalted 2e a few years back.

This year consisted of:

1. Marvel Heroic (2 sessions). Though a tough call for this crowd, it really struck a chord for some players culminating in a campaign starting outside of the meetings on Monday.
2. Dragon Age (2 sessions). This was an enjoyable experience which saw the players go off and run what I planned to run by themselves.
3. World of Darkness (1 session). This was the stand out session of the year. A one-off horror game that worked on every level.
4. Shadows of Esteren (1 session). Another successful session with a nice mashup of fantasy and horror.
5. Board Games (3 sessions). I played 1 session of Mansions of Madness, Descent 2e and Talisman. Mansions of Madness outstripped the other two by quite some way.

My options for 2013 are:

1. The One Ring. I ran this with some success a couple of years ago and now I have ready access to more resources and advantures. The release of the Hobbit should make it a hot item and its a great RPG. Probably the greates contender.
2. Hellas. This RPG is straightforward with the accessible gimmicks of Greek Mythic Fantasy and In Sppaaacccceee. The adventures I have are a decent, though no great quality, which turns this from a must run to a may run.
3. Dungeon World. I would like to do some D&D with this group again and Dungeon World seems to support the D&D style with simple rules that promote fun gameplay. It could be a winning combination and at least worth a session to try out.
4. Exalted 3e. With such success with Exalted 2e previously, I am hoping that the cleaned up ruleset will make it easier to play. If it does, it will be a big contender next year. If not, I may look at a mortals Sword & Sorcery game with Ruins of Rathess and Exalted 1e.
5. Barbarians of Lemuria. I doubt that this will be see fruition but I quite like the idea of using the simplicity of BoL to run Trial of Blood or other Conan D20 adventures.
6. World of Darkness. I want to run a more horror after the success of the WoD game this year. I particularly liked the use of mortals in WoD. Geist and Hunter are both possibilities but neither seem to hold up when I push myself. The God Machine Chronicle comes out next year and that could be a possible way in to this idea. Alternatively, I could see Kuro from Cubicle 7 (if they release the Makkuro campaign book next year) or Shadows of Esteren being possibilities for horror RPGing.
7. Board Games. Not much on the board game front. Call of the Wild for Mansions of Madness may get a session. I would also like to get out Middle Earth Quest again, given the likely Hobbit furor.

The one game that isn't on the list is Tenra Bansho Zero which is not likely to be the best fit for the younger crowd.

Kickstarter Surprises

One of the oddities of Kickstarter is that you end up get pleasant surprises as things are released (assuming its not Into the Far West). This week I am looking to get:

1. Hellas Second Edition PDF - I love the core concept of Hella (Greek Heroes In Spaaaaccce) but the original had a few outlying wonky rules and a few jarring art pieces. The second edition has removed these elements making it a pretty cool game.
2. Tenra Bansho Zero PDF - This is a massive PDF (not massive in terms of mechanics though) filled with interesting mechanical, cultural and setting ideas. SHould keep me occupied for a while.
3. Shadows of Esteren Prologue PDF - The end of the well organised Esteren KS and hopefully open up an immediately playable option for the RPG.
4. Castles & Crusades PHB - Given I have the PDF, this adds little other than seeing the book in the flesh.

Add this on top of my Marvel Heroic Civil War reading and it gives me a lot to read at the moment.


Despite enjoying Mutants and Masterminds 3e a lot (mechanically its just a sweet game) I have decided not to run Teen Titans for Kapiti College Gaming Club. I just think it will be a difficult ask and I am not 100% sold that the "setting" is compelling for them. Fortunately, I may run the game at another time with gaming friends, so the work is no great loss.

Instead, I have switched to Hellas. I am new to the RPG but it is pretty much Greek myths set as a space opera. Replace islands with planets, ships with spaceships, put the letters 'on' at the end of the Gods names, etc.

The system is a little crufty (being based on Talislanta's 20 year old system) but simple at its heart which tends to work well. Roll a D20 add Attribute + Skill against a DC. Its a lot like a simplified D20 if you removed the other dice used for damage. The setting is interesting but not bizarre. The adventures for it are straightforward (you must go here on a quest) but flexible allowing for direction without demanding it (no mysteries, dungeon crawls or extensive social intrigue). They have the requisite level of opportunity for spectacular scenes and action.

Overall, it looks like a fun game. Not one I would have pursued on my own bat TBH, but I think it should be a good one for the group. I used to love Greek myths at that age and Star Warsian space opera is a pretty sure thing too.